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Horn S cientific E xpedition 
central australia, 





Cftoi'uwiB or BiobooT IS TH> U.tivBMm or Ublmuk 









INTRODUCTION, by W. A. Hohn - . - - . 


THBOUGH LARAPINTA LAND; A Narrativb of the Kxpedition, 
by Baldwin Spkncbb, M.A., C.M.Z.S. 

SUMMARY of tlie Zoological, Botaaiotl, and Geological Results of tlie 
Expedition, by Baldwih Spenckii, M.A., C.M.Z.8. 


Botany - - ' 

Gkolooy and Paleontology 

General Conclusionb 
SUPPLEMENT to the Zoological Report - 

Hymbnoptera, by W. F. Kirbv, F.L.S., F.E.S. 

Additions to the Fauna 







Tub scientific exploration of Central Australia, more pailiculai'ly that portion 
known as tlic McDonnell RnngCK, hiid for many years been desired liy tliu lending 
scieutilic men in Australia, some of whom hold tlio opinion that when the rest of 
the continent was submerged the elevated portions of the McDonnell Hiinge 
existed as an island, and that ctmsequently older forms of life might be found in 
the more inaccessible parts. Travellers' tales also of the manners and customs of 
tlie natives, and the varieties of plants and animal life in these remote regions, hud 
aroused a widespread interest, and at the solicitation of a few scientific friends I 
resolved to organise and equip a party, composed of scientific men, to thoroughly 
explore this belt of country. The proposition was received with great favour in 
Australia, and numerous applications were made, and even preniiums ofibred, by 
gentlemen anxious to join the Expedition. The failure, however of previous 
Expeditions made it necessary to exercise great care in the selectiotk of the various 
menibers, so as to avoid the disasters, in the shape of internal dissensions, which 
had wrecked the others. In order to secure the services of the best men in 
Australia I decided to make it a semi-national undertaking, and to this end 
invitations wore extended to the Premiers of the principal Colonies, asking them 
to nominate scientific representatives. 

The Premiers of the Colonies of Victoria, New South Wales, and South 
Australia responded most cordially. Victoria, partly through the generous influ- 
ence of Lord Hopetoun, nominated Professor Baldwin Spencer, of tho Melbourne 
University. New South Wales noniinated Mr. J. Alexander Watt, of the Sydney 
University, and South Australia nominated Professor Ralph Tate, F.L.S., and Dr. 
Edward Stirling, F.R.S., both of the Adelaide University. Mr. 0. A. Winnecke, 
F.R.G.S., was chosen as the surveyor and meteorologist, and the fact that, in 
addition to piloting the party to such points as they wished to visit, this gentleman 
traversed and plotted about 27,000 square miles of country, and also matle a. series 
of valuable meteorological observations, speaks for itself. 

The general public were for some time under the impression that the Expedi- 
tion was going oiit in search of gold. They could not understand a body of 
scientific gentlemen going into a desert country, giving up their time and services, 
and submitting to all the dangers, discomforts and hardships attendant upon the 
life for any other reason. There is no doubt that hi»d one of the collectors in 



pursuil of a butterfly barked his sbiiiB aguiuBt n uuggel of guld, be would have 
rcuoguiijcd, and having rccoguised, would have "collected" it, althougb his clniin 
would probably have boon disputed by the geological scclion of the Expedition. 
But the real objects of the Expedition were as set out it) the articles under which 
they started, viz., the suientilic examination of the country from Oodmuluttu to 
the McDonnell Kauge ; the collection of specimens illustrative of the fauna, flora, 
and geological structure and mineral iigical resources of that region, and the 
illustration by photography of any remarkable natural features of the country 
traversed; the securing of photographs of the aborigines in their primitive state, 
the collection of information as to their manners, customs, and language, and tlic 
reproduction of their mural paintings. 

We made our final start from Oodnadatta, which is the northern terminal 
point of the railway from Adelaide, on 6th May, 1894. Our party consisted of, 
in addition to the scientific gentlemen already named, two Afghan and two 
European camel-drivers, two collectoi's, two prospectors, one aboriginal black 
tracker, and one cook, making sixteen in all, with twenty-six camels and two 
horses Without pretending to any great amount of scientific knowledge iiiysclt, 
I have hod considerable experience in bush life, extending over many years, and 
had done a good deal of exploring work in the Eremian region ; and, at the 
solicitation of several members of the party, I accompanied them to a point 1000 
niilea north of Adelaide, and, finding that they were all working together with the 
utmost harmony and enthusiasm, I started on my lonely return journey. When 
leaving I tried the new experiment of having no autocratic leader, but gave each 
scientific member of the party one vote, so that all questions as to the route tw be 
taken, the length of time to be spent at one spot, or any kindred questions, were 
decided by the majority. The safe-conduct of the party to such points as they 
wished to visit was entrusted to Mr. Winnecke. 

The continent of Australia extends from the 3Sth to the 12th parallel of S. 
Lat., and from the llStb to 153rd degree of Longitude. Now, if we take Ayers 
Bock as the centre of on ellipse which has a length of 1,600 miles by a width of 
800 miles, we have an area which comprises practically the whole of this Eremian 
region, which has an average rainfall of from five to twelve inches ; but this rain- 
fall is very irregular, as long periods of drought, sometimes of two years' duration, 
frequently intervene, and much of the country is reduced to the condition of an 
almost impassable desert, thus rendering the close examination of the central 
portion a task of no small difficulty and occasional danger, firstly from the 
scarcity of permanent water, and secondly tmm the presence of occasionally 
hostile natives. 



I was partiuulurly anxjuiis to obtain, if possible, photogrnphii of Mount Ol^'a 
and Ayers Rock, which have bec'ii regarded as two of the most striking iiubural 
features in the central I'cgion. As these lie fur out in the desert country to the 
south of Lake Amadous, it was impossible for the whole party to visit tliem ; hut 
under tlic leadership of Mounted Trooper E, C. Cowle, to whom my tlmnks are due 
for the usEistance which he rendered to us, a small party was enabled to pay a 
flying visit to them, and reproductions of photographs of these striking features, 
taken by Professor Spencer, appear in the Nairatis-e. 

In the very centi-e of the continent, and within the limits of the Ereininn 
region, there exists an elevated tr^ict of country, known as the McDonnell Rjmgcs. 
These mountains, barren and rugged in the extreme, rise to an altitude of nearly 
5,000 feet above sea-level, while the country surrounding thein has an elevation of 
about 2,000 feet above sea-level ; it slopes away on every side towards the coast, 
distant 1,000 miles. The mountains are at the head of the River Finke, and for 
this region, including the valley of the Finke, we have adopted the name of Lara- 
piutine, from the native name of the Finke, " Larapinta," and it was over this area 
that most of our espioratiuns were conducted. The existence of these mountains 
has to a great extent redeemed this portion of the continent from becoming an 
absolute desert^ as the mountains attract the tropical clouds, and during the 
occasional heavy downpours of rain a vast amount of storm water rushes down 
their barren rocky sides into the channel of the Finke River and its tributaries, 
and overflowing the banks inundates a great deal of the surrounding country, 
particularly in the south. The consequence of such inundation is that over the 
Hooded portion of tho country, and also other lowlands on which the rain has 
fallen, there is a rapid and luxuriant growth of vegetation. The ground being 
warm the rapidity of the vegetable growth is almost marvellous I have seen 
portions of this Eremian region which have been reduced by drought to the 
condition of a moving mass of sand, and yet within a month of a heavy fall of 
rain, the country was covered with a most luxuriant vegetation and capable of 
carrying an enormous amount of stock. These rapid changes have, however, led to 
ruinous losses among the pastoralists, as people with a meagre knowledge of the 
climate, and who have seen this country for the first time after one of those 
tropical downpours, imagine it to be its normal condition, and are induced to send 
out large numbers of stock to graze ; and when the inevitable drought occurs and 
the country is again reduced to the desert condition, they find their stock dying by 
hundreds of thousands for want of water. 

The climate of the McDonnells in winter is simply perfect, with warm clear 
days and bright cold nights. Day succeeds day without a cloud. In the afternoon 



there is generally a light breeze from the S. or S.E. The result of observations 
tAkon on oighty-four days shows that oa tweaty-six diiya a dend calm prevailed; 
on thirty-two days a gentle S.K wind ; on fifteen days a S. or K. wind ; on eleven 
days wind N.W. or S.W. 

In South Australia the hot winds are invariably from the north, and this 
gave rise to tbe theory that the windu became heated from passing over the dry 
liot centre uf the continent ; but hot winds in the centre are much rarer than in 
the south. During nearly four months there was not enough rain to wet a pocket 
handkerchief, and it was never necessary to erect the tents. We always slept in 
the open air. 

Glirnatic conditions have a niarked influence on the animal life indigenous to 
these regions, and have led to the occurrence of souie strange phenomena, which 
are dealt with in the Zoological Report. 

From the numl>er of fossil diprotodonts of gigantic size and struthious birds 
rivalling in stature the New Zealand inoa, which have been found within the 
limits of the Eremian region, it is evident that it had at one time a far heavier 
and more constant rainfall and a more luxuriant vegetation, capable of sustaining 
larger and slower-moving forms of animal life than at present. At Lake Calla- 
bonna, in the great salt Lake Eyre basin, there are hundreds of fossil skeletons of 
these animals, some of which have been successfully removed to the Adelaide 
Museum. In that locality they are found most frequently on the surface of the 
dry salt lake, and have been preserved by a natural coating of carbonate of linie ; 
but I have found their bones at a <lepth of twelve feet from the surface, at a place 
COO miles S.E. of the McDonnell Range. 

I have always felt that it was the duty of some one to obtain accurate 
information as to the manners, customs, superstitions, etc., of the priniitive races 
which inhabited the continent of Australia before the advent of Europeans, and 
also to obtain by photography some faithful reproductions of their ceremonial 
drosses and general appearance before they had come under the debasing influences 
of the white man. And in this matter wo were most ably and generously assisted 
by Mr. F. J. Gillen, who has had a long experience among them and is himself an 
expert photographer. The race is fast dying out, and there are very few tril>os 
left in their primitive condition who have not been in contact with Europeans ; 
these arc all con6ned to the Eremian region. In this matter, thanks to the 
assistance of Mr. Gillen, we hiLve been signally successful, and have obtained a 
very lai^e number of valuable phott^raphs, some of them being of ceremonies and 
rites whith are very rarely witnessed by white men, and have also obtained a mass 
of reliable infoiuiution as t« their iiupei-stitiuns and general euatouis, copies of a 


nuuiber of their mural painliogs, Hnd a. very large collection of their weitpons and 

The Oentral Australian aborigine is the living represenUtivv of a stone nge, 
who still fasbions his spear-hcadH and knives from dint or sandstone and performs 
the moat daring surgical operations with them. His origin and history are 
lost in the gloomy mists of the past. He has no written records and few oral 
traditions. In appearance he is a naked, hirsute savage, with a type of features 
occasionally pronouncedly Jewish. He is by nature light-hearted, merry and prone 
to laughter, a splendid mimic, supple-jointed, with an unerring hand that works 
in perfect unison with his eye, which is as keen as that of an eagle. He has 
never been known to wash. He has no private ownership of land, except as 
regards that which is not over carefully concealed about his person. He cultivates 
nothing, but lives entirely on the spoils of the chase, and although the therometer 
frequently ranges from 15 degrees to over 90 degrees F. in twenty-four hours, and 
his country is by no means devoid of furred game, he makes no use of the skins for 
clothing, but goes about during the day and sleeps in the open at night perfectly 
nude. He builds no permanent habitation and usually camps where night or 
fatigue overtakes him. 

He can travel from point to point for hundreds of miles through the patliless 
bush with unerring precision, and can track an animal over rocks and stones, 
where a European eye would be unable to distiiiguisli a mark. He is a keen 
observer and knows the habits and changes of form of every rariety of animal or 
vegetable life in his country. Religious belief he has none, but is excessively 
superstitious, living in constant drtad of an Evil Spirit which is supposed to lurk 
round his camp at night. He has no gratitude except that of the anticipitory 
ordur, and is as treacherous as Judas. He has no traditions, and yet continues to 
practise with scrupulous exactness a number of hideous custtiins and ceremonies 
which have been handed from his fathers, and of the origin or reason of which he 
knows nothing Oft-times kind and even aHeclionate to those of his children who 
have beiin permitted to live, he yet practises, without jwy reason except that his 
father did so before liiin, the most cruel and revolting mutiUations upon the young 
men and maidens of his tribe. 

Yet withal he is a philosopher who accepts feast or famine without a murmur 
either at the pangs of hunger or the discomforts of repletion. His motto is " dirpe 
diem" and when fortune sends hiui u, supply of game he consumes it all, regardless 
of to-morrow. No cold missionary graces his side-board, and should hunger, as a 
penalty for his improvident gluttony, overtake him, he simply ties a thin hair- 
girdle tightly round his storoacli, and almost persuades himself that he is still 



suQering from repletion. After an experience of many years I say without 
hesilution that he is absolutely untanieablu. You may clollie and core for him 
for yeuri, when suddenly the demon of unrest takes possesBion ; he throws ofi* all 
his clothing and plunge^; into the trackless depths of his ikative bush, at once 
reverting to his old and hideous customs, and when sated, after months of 
privation, he will return again to clothing and civilisiition, only to repeat the 
performance later on. Verily liis moods are as eccentric as the flight of his own 
boomerang. Thanks to the untiring elTorts of the missionary and the stockman, 
he is being rapidily " civilised " off the face of the earth, and in another hundred 
years the sole remaining evidence of bis existence will be the fragments of flint 
which lie has fashioned so rudely. It was fur this reason that I thought it 
desirable to get some reliable information, supplemented by photography, of this 
race while there were any of them reniaining in their primitive condition. 

In order to bring the scientific results together and to make them available, 
in what appeared to be the most convenient woy, to those interested in the various 
branches of work, they have been published in book form under the editorship of 
Professor Baldwin Spencer. 

To the South Australian Government my thanks are due for the cordial 
assistance rendered to the Expedition in various ways, especially in the loan 
of camels ; to the Oovemnients of Victoria and New South Wales for their 
assistance in tlie nomination of members of the scientific staff to represent those 
colonies ; and to the Councils of the Universities of Adelaide and Melbourne 
for readily granting to Professor Tate, Dr. Stirling and Professor Spencer the 
necessary leave of absence. 

W. A. HORN. 

London. IWMi. 



On the return of tlie Expedition in August, 1894, some little time elapsed before 
all the material collected reached Adelaide and Mellwurne and could be distributed 
to specialists. Daring the two years which have since passed hy, the working out 
of the material, writing of reports and reproduction of illustrations has been 
proceeded with as rapidly as possible. 

The Zoological collection has been largely increased by the cordial co-operotion 
of Mr, P. M.. Byrne of Charlotte Waters, 6tr. F. J. Gillen of Alice Springs, 
Mr. E. C. Cowie of Tllamurto, and Messrs. P. Squires, J. Field and J. Besley of 
Alice Springs. 

To Mr. P. M. Byrne we are especially indebted for the opportunity of securing 
and describing a number of interesting forms, amongst which are no fewer than 
four new species of Marsupials captured in the neighbourhood of Charlotte 

Mr. F. J. Gillen generously placed bis valuable anthropological notes at the 
disposal of Dr. Stirling, and they appear as a special article in the Anthropological 
Section, which is also largely illustrated by reproductions of photographs taken 
and lent by Mr. tiillen for the purpose. 

The map has been compiled and the reproduction of photi^raphs has been 
executed in London under the personal supervision of Mr. Horn ; the remainder 
of the illustnttioos have been lithographed and all the letterpress printed in 
Melliourne under my own supervision and I have to express my thanks to 
Mr. Wendel for the skill which he has displayed and the trouble which he has 
taken in rendering the lithographs as accurate as possible. The work has been 
issued in parts both to facilitate publication and to allow of the portions dealing 
with separate branches being more accessible to workers than they would perhaps 
have been had the volume been published as a whole. 

In the work of editing I have to thank my colleagues on the Ex[>edition, 
Professor Tate, Dr. Stirling, and Mr. Watt for their cordial co-operation, and 1 
am also much indebted to Mr. Winnecke for valuable information, and to Mr. 
T, S. Hall, Demonstrator and Lecturer on Biology in the Melbourne University, 
both for assistance in the preparation of the indexes and for suggestions and help 
in many ways. 



Throughout our Expedition everything was done both by official and private 
individuals with whom we came in contact to render it as successful as possible. 

In conclusion the hope may be expressed that our work may form a contri- 
butioa of some importance to a better knowledge of the great interior of the 
continent in regard to the various branches of science with which it deals, and 
may also be regarded as justifying the public spirited enterprise and efforts of its 



Septtmbf, 189IJ. 



Larapinta LanD: 



By nM.nWIN SPENCER. M.A., C.M.Z.S.. Projessor of Biology 
in lite Uttiversily of Melbourne. 




CHAPTER /.—Introductory Remarka. 

Object ol the Work -Ueiaben ol the Eip«ditlon— Lan|dnta Land— DlfflCQltin ot Travel and NatiiR of 
. Cuiieti— Departure from Adelaide and AirlvBl at OodntuUttti— Departure (rom Oodnadatta— 
Loading and Riding Canieb - Dally FrORrunme while on the March—The Main Sectiona of the 
Joumej— The AuatnUliui Steppes ....... page 

CHAPTER //.—The Lower Steppes. 
From Oodnadatta to Charlotte waters and the Finke River. 

Uke Bjre in the Dry and Wet Seasons— Gibber Plains -Origin of the Qlbbera^Loamy Plains— The 
Valley ol the JIacuinba Rli'er— Water Holes -Chestnut^ared Flnchea-The Prickly S«d Casee ot 
TribiiluB and BuaLi— Suc^lent Plants, Claytonla and PottuUuv— RemarkB on Bjdnoue and 
Succulent Development ot Plaiita-Both fonna of itrowth are probably adaptations to cLniaUc 
environment and not In the firvt Instance developed ae protection agalnat animals — The cDOet spiny 
and the most succulent pUnts are found In the arid redone— The Stevenson River— Contents 01 a 
Water-hole during the Dty Seuon -Tenacity of lite ot Blthinia australli— Dalbonsle Station and 
Uound 8prln|[s->Red Uulga—Olbber Plains at Suniat—Clay Pans; contrast between them in the 
Dry and Wet Seasons— The Fauna ot a Chiy Pan— AmphlUa, Crustacea, Uollusca— Ckilour Changes of 
froKB— Habits of Apus-Fnith Water Crab— Water Holding and Burrowing Frog—The Admlnga 
Creek— dhldea Scrub— Charlotte Waten Telegraph Station- A Second VUt to Charlotte Waters in 
Summer Time— Files and HoaqDltoes— Succession ol Forms of Ule— The Colountlon of Liiaid)-- 
Se\ual Differences— Brilliant Colouration, the accompaniment ot a genera] state ot actinia and 
only Indirectly assoclatsd with that ot the environment— Susceptibility to Heat ot LIurda-TlUqDa 
occipitalis killed by Heat ol Sand— Departure Irou Charlotte Waters— Chani[e lit Kature ol the 
Cooatrr-ADt Lions— Mount Daniel -Camp at the Coydei Biver—Habits of Phyalgnathua longlrortrls 
— Messrs. Watt and Wlnnet^e start oS to lollow up the Oo]*der and LlUa Creeks— The Main Party 
K0« on to Crown Point— View of (he Flnke Valley ..... Pagt 

CHAPTER ///.—The Lower Steppes 
From the Finke River to the James Range. 

IHscovery and naming ot the Flnke by McDooall Stuart, In 1860- View ol the tinke Volley- Cunningham 
Gap and Crown Point— Camp ol Blacks— Their lite In Camp -Corrobborees— Two bnportant forms. 
onUnary and sacred— Churlna, sacred Stones and SUeke— Organ biaUon of the Tribe- The way in 
which they prepare lor an ordinary CofTObboree— UhoiI Ornaments, Weapons, and Implements- 
Women Mourning- Collecting amongst the SandblUs— Fyramels kenhawi and Danals petlUa— 
Scorpions— Dent Adder— Occurrenoe and Habita of Llmnodynastes omatus— Tao Types ol Burrowing 
Frog* in Cent(»l Austtails- Departure Irom Crown point— Reach the Lilla Creek— Meet Messrs. 
Watt and Wluuecke at the Horse Shoe Bend on the Flnke— The Horn Range— Bodal Caterpillar 
Cases OD Eucalyptus mlcrotheca and Acacias— Various case Moths— Description ot the Scrub— Caoip 
at Id mcowra— Determine upon Future Plans— Return of Mr. Horn to Adelaide— Visit to Chambers 
Pillar-Sandhills-Desert Oaks— Description ot ths Pillar— Myth ol the Blacks to account for the 


F[|lar— Nature tnd Fonmtlon ot Witer-bolw along the Mr«ra— Sudden appeaiBDce ol Plooda in 
parte where no lUin has fallen— Pre»enc« o( Fl«h In the Waler-hole— No Fiih In CenlrmI Austmlin 
known to hmve taken on the haUt ot Protoptenu, the Mud Flah — Notor>'Ctes typblopi, the Manuplal 
Hole— Is Nator}'ctei a form Bpedally niodlfled rince climatic condlHoDS becuue dian|{ed In the 
Ceatnl ares, or bit the reiiintuit of Bonce man widely diiperaed form?— Deporture limn Idncowra 
— Crots the PalDisr River and reach Henbuiy— WaCerpool at Henbury— The Bony Bieaoi, Cbato- 
taat hanii— Chandler Raiitie and the Cerennnlal Stone, AnClarra— Collecting amongat the Blacks 
Camped ol Henburj— Leave Henbury— Eucalj-ptiu BamophjUa— Large Spider W«b< In tliB Scrub- 
Running Waten on the Finke^Fresh Water Craj-flah- Reach lllamurta In the Jamea Rang« and pan 
out ol the Dewrt Sandstone Area ....... Pagt 

CHAPTER ^C— The Higher Steppes. 

The Southern Par^ of the Jamee Range and the George Gill 
and Levi Ranges. 

The Jamea Range— The Police Camp at lllamurta— Collecting aoionget the Raiigea— First appeanuice of 
Black Earth— EarthKOmu—SlfiniBoance ot the presenco ol AcantbodrlluB and Hicrophyura in 
Central AoBtnliA— His IlpUIa Creek— Fer^tenoe ot Land llolIOSCB unongrt the Ranges— Fish In 
the Water>pools In Uie XlpUIa Ooige— Absence in Central Austtalln of anj-Ihing like a great 
UouiitalD Range nith sheltered and fertile VallQt— Necesdty of being in Uie district during the 
various Seasons— Leave Illamurt* and travel on to the Falmer River— Camp a«»r (o Ibe Illara 
Water-hole— Native Tobacco Fhuit— Absence ol FroK< ood other aniuiala probably due to low 
temperature at nights— The Party divides into two sections, one going to Tempo Downs Che other 
to the Petermann Creek— Tempe Downs StaUon- View tRxu the BtaUoii Range— The Walker 
River and Gorge— The habits ot the Parcuirine-KiBss Ant— A Corrobboree at Tempe Downs- 
Uu^nJ Instruments unODgst the Blacks— The lUaln Camp at the Petenntuin Creek~Travene of 
the Levi Range by Ur. Watt— From the Cainp on the Petermann l« Trickett Creek and aloug Ota 
southern lace ol the George Oil! Range to Bagot Creek— Our Camps at Bagot and Beedy Crwks— 
Description ol the B««d]' Creek Camp— Gum Creeks— view Irom the Escarpment ol the George Gill 
Range— Collecting amongst the Sandhilia to the south ot the Range — Jeituo-Rats, Hlce and Antechi- 
noniys- Tracking of Emus by the Blacks— Fenny Springs— Cycada, Encephalartoa Hacdonoelll- A 
PlctDnsque Gorge— Native Rock Diawlnga at Reedy Creek— Pigment* used by the Natives— 
[Hvislon Into Two Fartie«— The Main Camp travels eastward (o lAurle Creek and then to Uie 
McDonnell Range— A Small Puty under the guidance ot Ur. E. C. Cowls goes south across Idke 
Aniadeua to visit Ajen Rock and Mount Olga ...... Page 

CHAPTER K— The Desert Country. 
From the George Qiil Range to Ayer>B Rock and Mount Olga. 

Our Equipment— Photognphlng In Cenirnl Australia —Departure hrom Rsedy Creek— Camp lor the Night 
alter travelling siiteen miles— Sandhill Gum Trees— WlnnalTs Ridge, the most Southeni Outcmp seen 
ol Silurian Quart^te- The Pituri Plant— Uses to which It la put by ths Blacks— Kamaran's Well— A 
most unlikely Spat For Water — The Remains ot a broken down Uound Spring— 'Dingoes In the Water 
— Reuh Lake Amadeos at Sunset— Cross the Salt Bed and Camp on the South Side— The Fnsent 
State ol Dcaiooatlon ol the Lake Amadeue Art*— Leave Lake Amadens— Conlthard'a Well- TnivM all 
Day over Porouplns Sandhilia and la tbt AJtenoon Beach Ayen Rock- View ot ths Rock Irom the 
eandhllle—Ganip by a Small Water-bole Id a Chasm lo the Rock— No Fennabent Water at A]'en Bodr 
-^pend lbs Daj- round the Rock— Natli-e Dmwlngs ob the Walls ol Small Caves— Honey Ants- 
Tadpoles ot Hellopoms idctus In the Water-bole— View across the Plains tonards Mount Olga at 
Sunsal — A Family ot Sandhill Blacks— Ride across the Plain to Mount Olga— Camp at the Entrance 


to a Deep tiarloe— Ttdtbin'i lUiInd Tree*— No Permuient Water at Uount (Mgs : only a Small 
Bmk-Peol noir remaining— Camp ol Wild Blacki— RLde back to Aj'en Bock— CotAIng at a KanKanw 
bjthe Blaoki— Return to the 0Mir|n01U KaoKe— InoRaae or the Watet In Ba«ot Creek— Cn:tdn|[ 
the Oeo^e Gill Range— PeCannann Paund—Cniii the Station Range and tenCb Tempe Downi— 
beara Tenipa Downa and tollmr the Walker back to the Pahner— The Qargea along- the Palmer- 
Low Temperature at Nlgbt Tlnie— A Lat^e TiUBOOk of Fonuplne Oni»— FoIIoh the Palmer up to 
the MlnlODarr Pl^n and Cump oloee to Pine Point— A Neir Spedee ot Oraaa Tree— Sporadti: 
Diftrlbutlm ot Certain Speolee of Pbuita— The MlBlonarr Plaint— Oone Kange— Rock PIfreona— 
Camp in the Southern UoDonnell Uille— In the Homing Join the Uain Party at the Old Qlen Helen 
Station .......... Pag, 

CHAPTER F/.— The Higher Steppes. 
The McDonnell Ranges. 

it Sonder— The Radbank Creek and Gorge— Deniiptlon ot Flab found in the 
om Tallej— Origin of Ibe OoiKea— Camp b the Fink* Oorgt— The Hare- Wallaby 
el South along the Fluke and acnMtba Uliriouary Flalna (o Hermaoug- 
buig— Tba Uiaidou Statiou aod it* iDRueace on the Native*— Divide hito Three Partla— Fallow 
tba Fink* tbrougti the Jamee Range to i^lm Creek— Three D«y* Camp at Palm Creek— Palm* and 
Cfeada— Account ot the Animal Ur* ol Palm Creek- Restriction ot Specie* to a Euiatl Area aa 
exODpUfled by Uk MoUmc* Return to Henuannrinirg— Jerboa-tUt* and AntecUnouij-e— Leave 
Hermanoabarc- Uodlfkatlon in Form and Colour at the Foliage at Acad* eaUdDa aod Mulga— 
Camp In the Scrub— Th* Main Camel Team goe* on Ea«t«anli along the Mlakinaiy Plain to Alice 
Sprluga— A Sectiou of the Party goes North to areas the Raoge* to the Burt Plain— View from ttit 
South UcDannell Range— Camp near P^aley Bluff— A thy In Camp— Varloo* Form* of Ant N«t>— 
Rook WallaUta—Hethod ol Oanylng the Young in the Pouch, a Severe Handicap to Uamplal* In 
Competition with Rodent*— Biinkley Bluff- Traverse the Range* and Camp on the Burt Plain- 
Strike the Telegnph Line and follow It South to Alloc Bprlncs— Mr. Watt payi a Flying Vialt to the 
Oold and so^iallad Ruby Fields— A Kew Marsui^al- The Bangs* at AUc* Sp[ing»-Tbe Todd River— 
Conlin Lagoon— Varioui Form* of Phyllopods and thdr Habits— The sa-oilled BaiUng Spider— The 
Sound probably due to a Biid— The Presenoe of a BtrldulaUng Organ in the Spider— Leave Alice 
Springs and travel Sonth along the Telegraph Uae to Oadnadatta - - Pagi 



Piatt 1 
Plata 2 

eproductd from Photographs &y Mr. IV. A. Horn. 
are nproducid from Photographs by the Author. 


Plate 6. 

Plate 7. 

Plate 8. 

Plate 9. 

Plate 10. 

Plate 11. 

Camel Bugj^y. 
Arrival at Water 
Caup Asleep, 5 a. 

Camels Renting. 
Desert Oaks.* 
Urass Trees. 
Castle Rocks 
Lake Amadeus. 
Crown Point ■ 
Chambers Pillar 
Ayers Rock 
Mount Olga 
Red bank Gorge 
Finke Gorge 
Palm Creek 

To face page 



Neat of Social CaterpilUr 44 

Sand tube made on a leaf of Porcupine Grass by Ants to enclose 

Coccidie - - - - 70 

Oycads — Encephalartos Macdonnelii 77 

Porcupine Grass — Triodia pungens ----- . Ho 

Ayera Rock — to show weathering 86 

DiagramniBtic section across the country from the Bart Plains 

in the north to the James Range in the south 103 

Mulga Trees — Acacia aneura 122 

■ B; nilaUkc thli lllnrtraUon !■ entitled " Porcupine OnM." 



Introductory Remarks. 

Objwt of the Work— Membeis of the EipediUon— Lani[dnta litid— DifflcoltlM ot Travel uid NMnre ot Contela— 
Departuro from Adelaide uid Arrival at Oadiiadatta— Departure trom OodnwlattB— Lcudlngr and IUiIIdk 
Cuiieli- Dully PnKmniiiie while on the Hurcli-The Hnln Sections of the Journey— The Aiutmllan 

Mt object in writing the following narrative is to give some idea of the nature 
of the country through which the Expedition passed and also of the work 
accomplished. To do this I have availed myself of the information contained in 
the variouB scientitic reports, and take this opportunity tA expressing my obliga- 
tions to the various writers from whose work I have gained information of which 
use is made in the following pages. To my colleagues on the Expedition I am 
especially indebted, not only for the use which I have freely made of their 
writings, but for much information afforded to me during tlie course of the 
Expedition. To how great an extent I am indebted to them will easily be seen 
by reference to the scientific reports. 

My endeavour has been, without entering into too great scientific detail, to 
summarise in a more or less popular form the results obtained in the various 
branches of science, and to convey to the reader who has not travelled in Central 
•Australia some idea of what the country is like. By those who are acquainted 
with the writings of the explorers of Central Australia, such as Sturt, Stuart, 



Grey, Leiclmrdt, and Winburtou, and in more I'ecent yenrs Oilcs, it will be easily 
realised that it is a matter of no small difficulty to render any such nccount 
otherwise than as monotonous as the country through which the traveller must 
pass. To their accounts wiia added the charm attendant upon the description of 
travel through untrodden country in face of almost insuperable difficulties. 
Though away from beaten tracks, we only traversed country previously explored, 
and had practically no serious difficulties to contend with. We hod, however, 
more time to devote to an examination of the different features— zoolt^ical, 
botanical, geolc^cal, and meteorological— of the country than was possible in 
the onse of the original explorers, so that, in certain respects, I hope to be able to 
Rive a fuller description of n Uraited area of the central region than has yet been 

The Expedition left Adelaide at the beginning ot May, 1894, and three 
months and a half were occupied in traversing the country which it wub nrg.inised 
for the purpose of scientifically exploring. 

The members of the Expedition, in addition to Mr. W. A. Horn, who accom- 
panied us as far as Idracowra on tlie Finke River, and the various branches of 
work ailoted to them were as follows : — 

Professor Ralph Tate - Geology and Botany. 
Dr. E. C. Stirling Anthropology. 

Professor Baldwin Spencer Zoology and Photography. 

Mr. J. A. Watt - ■ - Geology and Mineralogy. 

Mr. C. Winnecke - - Surveyor and Meteorologist 

Messrs. F. W. Belt and G. A. Keartland accompanied the party as collectors 
and taxidermists, and there were in addition tlie usual camp men — a cook, two 
white men and two Afghans in charge of the camels, and black " boys " to serve 
as guides. 

The object which Mr. Horn had in view in sending out the Expedition was 
not to explore new country, hut to examine as carefully as time permitted the 
country in and about the McDonnell Ranges. These lie almost in the centre of 
Australia just to the south of the Tropic, and, roughly speaking, stretch across 
from east to west between long. 130° and 135°. To reach them it was necessary 
to traverse all the district lying between them and the northern end of Lake 
Eyre. All this large tract of country is drained by the Finke River and its 
tributaries, so that, in reality and as far as circumstances and time permitted, the 



Expedition may be said to have mode an examination of the great Finke Basin, 
which, adapting the native name of the river, niaj be spoken of ns Larapinta 

In judging of the results of the Expedition it is only fair to remember that 
some two thousand miles* had to be traversed slowly, for the most part on camel- 
back, and that out of a total of one hundred and twenty-five days spent in the 
field, less than twenty were available for actually " spelling " in camp ; that is, 
whilst during each of more than one hundred days an odd hour or two were 
avfulable for collecting, the time during which we were really free to make 
anything like a searching investigation was of necessity very limited indeed. 

In such a district as Central Australia it is not always possible to stop just 
when and where you want to; waterholes during the dry season — that is, the 
winter months — ore few and far between, and certain stages have to be made to 
reach them. In the scrub-covered country, it must also be remembered that 
travelling is often slow and tedious and from a collector's point of view a camel 
is the most unsatisfactory of beasts. 

Perched high up between heaven and earth, you may often see, say, a lizard 
or an insect which you are anxious to secure, but long before you can persuade 
your camel to sit down the animal is far away and safely hidden. The chances 
are, too^ that you return from a fruitless search to find that your camel, which 
above all things dislikes to be left behind its companions, has trotted away. 
Anyone who has attempted the task knows well the ditfculty of persuading 
the beast to sit down when it does not want to do so, and will sympathise with 
the feelings of an nnexpert rider who attempts to safely mount a camel which is 
anxious to be up and off after its fellows. 

A camel has a peculiar way of ite own of getting up, which is bad enough 
when done slowly ; but when it is in a hurry, then you have to be very careful 
not to get an ugly bump or fall The moment you are in your seat behind the 
hump, or perhaps before you are there, he rises with a jerk half way up on his 
hinder legs, throwing you forwards ; before yon have time to recover your 
balance up go the front legs half way, then it rises completely on its hind 
legs and finally on its front l^^^a — a fourfold movement of a most disagreeable 
nature. To make it sit down, the magic word " hOsht " must be repeated until it 
kneels down on its front legs ; then it swings backward half way down on it« 
hind legs, then completely down on its front legs, and, lastly, completely down on 
its hind legs. 

• That ^^, (hs dMiuice Cnvareed niter Inving Oodnulatta, tho hatd of tbg ndlmkf lino, which itMit Ilea mara 
tbu too mllM ooftb ot AiteWda. 



Then, too, the movement of the beast when it walks or trots has a peculiar 
churning effect on specimens, and as it ia not always possible to safely stow them 
away when on the march, many a one is bruised and spoilt, Tn walking it does 
not move its feet like a horse — two diagonally opposite ones at a time — but the 
two near or the two off feet are lifted simultaneously. 

^ In arid country, such as we for the most part traversed, the camel certainly 
has great advantages ; but it must be confessed that you Krst mount your benst 
without any expectation of pleasure, that you derive none whatever from your 
association with him, and that you part company without any regret on either side. 

The bull camels will fight furiously for tite possession of the cows, biting each 
other fiercely with their powerful canine teeth. The victor, if it does not entirely 
disable the vanquished one, will chase the latter away at headlong speed, utterly 
regardless of anything in its way ; and if t^e fight takes place at night, as it once 
did with us, and the flight of the vanquished one happens to be directed through 
the camp, then the consequences may be very serious, as two infuriated camels 
running " amuck " require to be given a wide berth. 

A bull camel has a remarkable habit of in some curious way forcing the air 
in behind the uvula and forming a bladder, which begins to come out at one side 
of the mouth. The beast makes a loud bubbling sound, the bladder iu the mean- 
time growing larger and larger until it is as big as its head. Then the bubbling 
ceases, and the bladder is gradually withdrawn. 

The neck is so long that when you perhaps imagine yourself well out of 
harm's way, yon are startled to hear a sudden snap and to find that the henst has 
made a sav^e bite at you. If angry, they will try and get you down upon the 
ground and endeavour to pound you with the hard callosity on their cheat. 
Altogether, it is best to be on your guard when dealing with camels ; there is 
no getting fond of them, and of all beasts of burden they combine in the highest 
degree the qualities of filthiness, viciousness, and crass stupidity. 

The ordinary bagg^^ differs, aa it has been said, from the riding camel as 
much as a thoroughbred does from a cart horse; and of all the methods of 
travelling, the back-breaking swing of a rough camel is the most monotonous. 
A good riding camel will travel as fast as ten or even twelve miles an hour, 
and can keep this up for many hours during the day, but the ordinary loading 
ones will not cover more ground than between two and tliree miles an hour. 
They always travel in single file, and it is most difficult to get two to walk aide by 
side, so that conversation whilst on the march is conducted under difficulties. 





However, their powers of oiidurance, despite their vicious disposition, render 
them invaluable in dry countries such as the interior of Australia. They will feed 
oa thorny desert pln.nte which nothing else will eat, and can, when trained, go for 
days together without drinking — the longest record in Australia being, I believe, 
the 24 days' waterless march on the recent Elder Expedition. Such abstinence as 
this must, however, cause considerable suffering to the animals. 

However, to return to our Expedition. Leaving Adelaide, we went by train 
for 600 miles to Oodnadatta, the most northern point on the southern part of the 
projected trans-continental railway. Mr, Winnecke hod preceded us to super- 
intend arrangements, and we found the camels camped some little distance 
outside the township in the midst of a dry, bare plain, close to a small muddy 
waterhole on the Neale Creek. 

Mr. Wintiecke hod evidently been having a busy time. Stores of all kinds 
and collecting material were ready, and next morning the camel train moved out 
of camp and took the track northwards along the overland telegraph line towards 
Charlotte Waters. 

We bad altogether some twenty-five camels and two horses, each member of 
the scientific staff having his own riding camel, the remainder being loaded with 
various weights according to their carrying capacity, the heaviest load weighing 
between seven and eight hundred pounds. 

Perhaps the most curious part of the whole caravan was a buggy drawn by a 
pair of camels. This was only taken over the first two hundred and fifty miles of 
our journey, when we were travelling along the track by the telegraph line as far 
north as Crown Point, where we were not sorry to leave it behind. Out in the 
bush it would have been impossible for it to have travelled, and even along the 
rough tr^k, where travelling was comparatively easy, it was not exactly an 
unmixed blessing when rough creek-heds had to be crossed. In the illustration 
(Plate 1) the camels are represented as sitting down in the position in which they 
had just been harnessed ; when standing up they naturally looked very ungainly 
and far too big in comparison to the size of the buggy. Though in some parts of 
Australia, such as the West, camels are now regularly used for this purpose, they 
seem t«) be much more fitted for carrying burdens than to serve as draught-animals. 

All the camels used were the single-humped ones, and the saddles are so 
made that they are kept in place partly by the hump itself, partly by girths. A 
loading camel will carry a big box on either side and another package on the top. 
Everything, of course, is fastened on while the camel is sitting down, the Iieast 



frequentlf expressinf; its disgust and anDoyanc« at thti process by growling and 
gnashing ito teeth. Unless securely fastened on, the eIow but steady churning 
movement, which is much like a combined pitching and tossing and rolling, will 
soon put the packages out of place. 

For the first ilay or two, until the weights are fairly adjusted, the loads are 
continually shifting and stoppages are frequent Elach camel has a hole bored 
through one side of its nose, and into this a wooden peg is fixed, shaped something 
like a little dumb-boll ; to this a string is tied, and so in a baggage train a string 
passes from the nose of one animal to the tall of the one next in front, for of 
course they walk in single file. 

So long as the travelling is cosy this is right enough, hut in difficult country, 
as when, for example, a creek witli steep aides has to bo crossed, it is not easy to 
avoid a break-away. The front one of the camels coming first to a steep descent 
and carrying a heavy load b very apt to go down with n sudden run, which 
probably means that the hinder one stands still and the nose-string is broken. 
The nose-peg itself is not infrequently pulli-d out and has to be replaced, ur, if the 
string by good fortune simply comes untied (the knot is always a loose one) from 
the tail of the front animal, the hinder ones will stand still, sniffing the air in a 
stupid, idiotic kind of way, until they are led "up to the front one and the damage 
repaired. In difficult country this often takes place, and so travelling is slow 
work, and the distance traversed may not average more than two or, at most, 
three miles an hour during the day. 

(loiog down a steep bank a camel will often slip down on its haunches, and 
going up one will climb on its knees. Often there is seriuus difficulty in getting 
them to cross a creek holding water. Mr. A. W. Howitt told me of an ingenious 
plan adopte<l by himself when he was out in charge of one of the parties 
despatched to search for the remnant of the ill-fated Burke and Wills Expedition. 
He had come to a creek full of water, and the camels steadily refused to go into 
it. At last a happy idea struck him ; he had one of the beasts brought up and 
mode to sit down broadside on to the creek. He and his men ranged themselves 
on the land side of the animal, which was then made to get up, but whilst in the 
act, and at a given signal when the beast was off Its balance, a united push sent it 
sprawling into the water, across which it then mode its way. 

Whilst on the march our daily programme was much the same. Usually just 
before sunrise we were up and dressed. Very shortly after sunrise we had 
breakfast Our camp cook, Laycock, wns on old hand at the work, his experience 





dating bock to the building of ti)<! overland telegraph line ; and thanks to hiui, so 
long us we reuiaiaed in the main camp we lived in comparative luxury. Breakfast 
— always hot and most welcome — was eaten when usually the temperature was 
not much above freering point. The black boys and the Afghans brought the 
camels into camp, and along with them the odour of their undigested feed. 

Whilst the loading of the baggage-camels took place, each of us saddled and 
packed our own beast. A riding saddle is so made— they are wonderfully crude 
and heavy structures — that you can pack your personal belongings in front of the 
hump, while behind is a seat for yourself in such a position that the animal can, 
when it desires to do so, whisk its filthy tail on to your back. 

The reins of a riding camel consist of two strings, one passing round each 
side of the neck and attached in front to the single wooden peg inserted in one 
side of the nose. Owing to the fact that a hard pull is liable to at once bring out 
the peg, this gives the rider the minimum of control over a beast so naturally 
stupid as the camel. Mure than once, when I had stayed behind the rest to 
endeavour to secure some particular beast or to take a photograph, my camel 
started off at a quick trot to catch up the train. All that I could do was to hold on 
to my camera and luggage and hope that the train was not far ahead ; the camel 
was sure to reach it safely, but there was every chance of the camera and myself 
being left behind. T may say that I had christened my camel the " Baron," after 
my distinguished friend and counsellor, the Baron von Mueller, whose name is a 
household word with us in Victoria, in the hope that, as the bearer of such a 
name, he would behave himself accordingly, but I was disappointed in him. 

Once mounted, we travelled slowly on at a walking pace for perhaps t«n or 
twelve miles, with plenty of time to observe the nature of the country, but with 
no or little opportunity to collect. Then came a, halt in the heat of the mid-day 
for lunch, when collecting was made difficult by reason of the flies which settled on 
your face. After the halt, another march of the same length brought us at dusk 
to our camping place for the night. The camel train was brought into camp 
forming a semicircle ; each camel was unloaded, and then, after being hobbled, 
was set free for the night to find what feed it could. The camp fire was lighted, 
notes were written up, specimens labelled and packed away, and then we lay 
down and slept in the open under the perfect clearness of the desert sky. As a 
general rule the nights were very cold, not infrequently the tliermometer registering 
several degrees below freezing point ; but the air was so dry that the cold was 
comparatively little felt, even when our water-bags were frozen solid. 



This programme, repeated day after day whilst traversing country of the 
most desolate dea43riptiou, soon became very monotonous; in fact, the most 
striking feature of travel in Central Australia is the wearying monotony which 
stands out 80 clearly in the writings of all the explorers of the interior. 

Looking back upon our journey, it appears to divide itself up naturally into 
certain sections— j!rs/, the country between Oodnadatta and a little to the north 
of the Charlotte Waters Station, where we struck the main Finke River and its 
tributaries ; second, the country along the Finke until we r'eached the James 
Range ; third, the Silurian ridges which form the southern part of the James 
Range and the George Gill and Levi Ranges ; fourth, the desert sandhill country 
across Lake Amndeus to Ayers Rock and Mount Olga ; and, fifth, the interesting 
and varied country in and about the northern part of the ' James and the 
McDonnell Ranges. 

Speaking generally, our journey led us into three types of country. It is 
usual to speak of the whole interior of Australia as a Desert or Eremian country, 
but this name as applied to the whole area is really very misleading. It is tme 
that over wide areas extendii^ especially across the western half of the interior 
there spread out sandhills and flats covered with Mulga scrub or " Porcupine " 
grass which may Justly be described as Desert, and across which no creeks of any 
size or rivers run, and where water is only to be found often at long intervals of 
time in isolated clay-pans or in rock holes amoogst the rocky ridges which every 
now and then rise above the sand and break the dead level of the monotonous 

Such true desert country has been repeat«dly described in the writings of 
many of the Australian explorers — Grey, Forest, Warburton, etc. — and such 
country we passed across in the journey from the George Gill Range to Ayere 
Rock and Mount Olga. 

But, in addition to this true desert, there is a vast tract of country com- 
prising the great Lake Eyre Basin, stretching from this eastwards and northwards 
into the interior of New South Wales and Queensland and up to and beyond the 
McDonnell Ranges, across which run such intermittent streams as the Cooper, 
the Warburton, the Macumba, the Finke, and the Todd, dry for the greater part 
of the year, but every now and then at varying intervals of time swollen witli 
heavy floods which spread out over wide tracts, and for a time transform the whole 
country into a land covered with a luxuriant growth of vegetation. To this part 
of the continent the name of the AUSTRALIAN STEPPES may be suitably 



Startiog from Lake Eyre, and travelling northwards towards the centre of the 
continent the traveller passes across a tract some four or five hundred miles in 
width which may again be divided into two districts, which may be called 
respectively the LOWER STEPPES and the HIOHER STEPPES. 

The LOWER STEPPES extend over the area occupied by the great Cretaceous 
formation with it« alternating stony or gibber plains, loamy flats, and low-lying 
terraced hills capped with Desert Sandstone. At Lake Eyre the land is thirty- 
nine feet below sea level, and gradually rises to a height of one thousand feet at 
its northern limit. 

The HIGHER STEPPES are characterised by high ridges of Ordovician and 
Pre-Cambrian rocks which stretch across the centre of the continent from east to 
west for some four hundred miles. The average elevation of these Higher Steppes 
may be taken as about two thousand feet, and above them the higher peaks of the 
ridgei rise for some two thousand five hundred feet niore. 

Both the Lower and the Higher Steppes, as already said, are traversed by 
creeks and rivers which are absent in the true Desert Country. In the following 
account the Lower Steppes are described in the chapters dealing with the country 
between Oodnadatta on the south and the James Range on the north, and the 
Higher Steppes in the chapters dealing with the James, George Uill, and 
McDonnell Ranges, and the Desert Region in the chapters describing the journey 
from the Geoi^ Qill Range across Luke Amadeua to ^yers Rock and Mount 

The remarks of Brebm* are exactly applicable to the centre of Australia. 
He says, " In order to understand the steppe lands it is necessary to give a rapid 
sketch of their seasons. For every country reflects its donunant cliraat«, and the 
general aspect of a region is in great part on expression of the conflicting forces of 
its seasons, apart from which it cannot be understood." 

Now the climate of Central Australia is one which reveals an alternation of 
short rainy seasons with intervening pttriods of drought. The rainy season is short, 
the dry season long, and not only this but, whilst the rain season is always short tlie 
dry season may be abnormally prolonged. There isno regular succession of spring, 
', autumn and winter, but simply a hot and a relatively cold season, that is 
r and a winter with a longer or shorter interval during the former when 
the rainfall takes place. 

■ "If^am North l^lls to ttaa Equator." Ei^Iiih trui>1itJoii by Uuguet U. ThoiuKn. p. IW. 



Further still, the land is one where almost perpetual sunshine reigns; week 
after week, often month after month the sun shines brightly all day long in an 
almost cloudless sky. In the sumnter the heat is intense, but in the winter inontlis 
from May to September, whilst the days are very liot the utghte are bitterly cold — 
the temperature often falling many degrees below freezing point. 

To this irregular alternation of seasons, and to a great diurnal variation in 
temperatura every animal and plant must become adapted if it is to survive. Hence 
it is that so many of the plants are those which have special provision to prevent 
rapid evaporation of moisture — such as the spiny Acacias and grasses, the wiry 
Gasuarioas, the hairy'Ieaved Atriplex or salt-bush, and the succulent Claytonia and 
Portulaca which hove thick cuticles. 

In addition to the special modification of the adult plants, the seeds require 
to be of such a nature that they can both withstand the influence of long exposure 
and nt the same lime germinate rapidly directly the conditions become favourable. 
Anyone who has seen the inland loom flats and even the stony gibber plains, bare 
and desolate before the rains and green and luxuriant a few days afterwards, will 
realize the phenomenal rate of germination and early growth possessed by many of 
the steppe plants. 

Amongst animals we find the kangaroo and the dingo, which can travel long 
distances with ease, or else, like the native blacks, can subsist, if need be, on the 
dew which in early morning condenses on the grass, smaller marsupials which can 
feed upon the ante or dried up vegetation, frogs and niollnsca which rcniain hidden 
in the damper ground beneath the bard-baked surface, and Crustacea such as Apus 
and Estherias, the eggs of which will not develope unless the water in which they 
have Ikeen deposited dries up. 



The Lower Steppes. 
From Oodnadatta to Charlotte Waters and the Finke River. 

Lake Byre in the Dry uid Wet ficuoiu— Gibber Pl^iu— OriKin r* the Oibben— Lounf FMns-Ibs Valley of the 

Muniiuba Rlror -Water Holea-Cheitnut-Gued FInchea-Tbe Fricfcly Beod Caaea of Tiibulus and Boaria— 
Suocu1«Dt Plania, ClayUnla and Portulan— RemarkB on Splnoua and Suoculent Devetopnient ol PlinU - 
Both Imnu ot gmirth are probably adapUtloM to cllnwUc eniiroament and not in the first Inalance 
deTsloped aa protection afalnit anhuala— The most spiny and the moat suoculent planta are lound in the 
arid rq[ion»— The Stoienson River— Contents at a Water Hole during the Dry Seamn -Tenacity oI tile Of 
UtUnia uistraHs— Dalhousle Station and Hound Spilngi-Red Uulga-Oibber Plains at Suntot-Clay 
Pans; oontraat botveen them in the Dry and Wet Seasons— The Fauna of a Clay Pan— Am|Albla,Cnistar«a, 
Mollusca— Colour Changes ol Frogs— Habits ol Apus— Fresh Water Grab— Water HoMlnn and Burnnrini 
Frog- The Adniinga Creek— Clddea Scrub— Charlotte Waten Tet^iaph Station— A Seoond VUt to -Char. 
lotto Waters In Summer Time— Flies and Hosqultogs— Succeaslon ot Forms of Ule— Tho Colouration ol 
Uiards Sexual Dlllerencoa -Brilliant Colouration, the accompaniment of a general state ol activity and 
only ludlreoUy associated with that ol the environment— SosceptiUUty to Ilcat of Lliards -TUiqo* ocdid- 
taUs kUted by Ueat ol Sand - Departure Irom Charlotte Waten-Change lii Nature ol tbo Country -Ant 
Uons— UODot Daniel - Camp at the Ooyder River— Habits ol Physignathut kinglrostfis— Hessn. Watt and 
Winnacke start off to (oilow up the Ooyder aud Lilia Creeki— The Main Party goes on to Crown Point- 
View ot the Finke Valley. 

On its way north the railway line now passes close to the western border of 
South Lake Eyre, and at this point is actually souie three or four feet below 
the sea level. As a general rule the Liike is for the most part, as it was when 
we passed it going and returning, a white sheet of salt. Into it drain the more 
important rivers of the interior — on the west the Barcoo and Warburton, on 
the north the Neale and the Macumba, whilst in times of heavy rain amongst 
the ranges in the centre the flood waters of the big Finke itself probably help to 
swell those of the Macumba. 

It is only after very heavy rains that these rivers run, and then the Lake 
bed is filled with water, as it was when I passed by it in January, 1895. Then the 
stony plains around were green with grass, and the waves, blown by a heavy wind, 
were breaking in spray against the small cliffu bounding the shore. The evapora- 
tion is, however, so great that only a comparatively short time passes before all is 
once more dry and parched. 

From Oodnadatta our course lay ocroBS a gradually rising and somewhat 
undulating country with low-lying flat-topped hills and upland plains covered with 
" gibbers."* These gibber plains, a characteristic view of which is shown in the 
accompanying illustration (Plate 2), are the most striking feature of this part, 

■ The name Is derived bom a Queensland aborlgiiMl word "giUKr," wbioh mewu a stone. 



and ID nil probability are identical with the " stony desert " of Sturt's descriptiuu 
of tlie interior. 

Stretching away to the borizon on every side is a level pliun covered with u 
layer of purple-brown stones, varying in size from an inch to perhaps a foot in 
diameter, all wade smooth by the constant wearing away of wind-bome sand grains. 
Amongst thein in the dry season are here and there a few small tussocks of yellow 
grass ; small lizards dart about, and innumerable grasshoppers rise up from your 
feet and fly for a short distance. There is no water and no shelter ; perhaps a line 
or two of thin mulga trees far away will mark the course of a dry stream which 
meanders about for a short distance as it conies down from some low-lying hill, 
only to be soon lost upon the plain. Except within a short time after rain it is 
useless to look along its bed for water holes. The surface is dry and cracked, and 
where the water stood longest are curled flakes of u glistening clayey nature. 

Nothing could be more desolate than a gibber plain when everything is bare 
and dry, and the outline of the distant horizon is indistinct with the waves of 
heated air. 

Throughout all this district the low flat-topped desert sandstone hills indicate 
the original level of the land. All these hills have a thin capping of hard 
chalcedouized sandstone ; when once this is broken up the softer underlying rock 
is rapidly disintegrated, and the sand particles into which it breaks up are partly 
carried away in flood time, and partly blown away by heavy winds.* The harder 
chalcedonized material gradually breaks up into blocks of various sizes, and these 
become polished and rounded by the wind-blown sand grains, while a thin coating 
of oxide of iron gives them a red-brown and curiously polished appearance. As 
the sand is gradually removed the polished stones come to form a layer spread over 
the flat surface of the plains, the stones of which are so close to one another and 
so regularly arranged that at times they look almost like a tesselated pavement. 
In passing from the plains up the sides of the hills the gibbers can be seen in all 
stages of formation, from the small, smooth and flattened pebble on the plain to the 
big, irr^ularly shaped mass which has Just tumbled off from the exposed surface of 
the thin desert sandstone capping of the hill. 

These stony gibber plains mer^ constantly into loamy plains covered with 
poor scrub, but on which the gibbers are wanting. Perhaps, as suggested in the 
section dealing with Oeology, these loamy plains occupy areas on which the Upper 

■StrODK Hiuth-eut wioda during tbe winter mouth*. 




Cretaceous rocks were not capped with the bai-d chalcciiontzed Desert Sandstone, 
and where, therefore, no gibbers have been formed. 

Shortly after leaving Oodnadatta the track passes awaj from the telegraph 
line, leaving the latter some miles to the west. We crossod two or three sninller 
creeks, such as the Opossum and Storm Creek along which a few water-holes still 
remained, and after three or four days came into the broad valley of the Macumba, 
which during tho winter months simply forms a succession of dry sandy beds 
running parallel to one another with muddy water-holes here and there, which 
after a few months of drought dry up completely. The approach to a water-hole can 
always be told, not only by the greener patches of scrub and trees immediately 
surrounding the water, but by the twittering of innumerable chestnut-eared 
finches (Tanu'pygia cnslanolis). The twittering of these pretty little birds may 
always be taken as an indication that water is not far away : from the side of a 
water-hole flocks rise as you approach, and their little gross nests are very common, 
as many as nine being seen on one occasion on one smalt shrub. They fall an easy 
prey to such birds us the falcons, which will swoop down upon a flock and usually 
carry off a little finch each time. Judging by their numbers they must be prolific 

There is not, however, much life as a general rule a1>out these water-holes, and 
a yard away from them everything is as dry and parched as possible. In the dry 
season the only moist place in Central Australia is actually in a water-hole. 

The lines of the water-courses are marked by belts of gum trees and acacias 
— Eucalyptus rostrala, the river gum ; Eucalyptus microtlum, the swamp gum ; 
Acada aneura, the mulga ; Acacia cyperofihylla, the red mulga, a very local tree 
extending across a nnrrow belt of country froni east to west, a little way to the 
north of the old Macumba Station, and the stinking acacia, A. komalophylla. On 
the loamy flats, and even gibber plains, the most noticeable plant is Salsola kali, 
|>opularly known as the Rolly-polly. It is, when mature, one of the characteristic 
prickly plants of the Lower Steppes, and forms great spherical masses perhaps a 
yard or more in diameter. It b a constant feature of the Cretaceous area, and 
gradually disappeared as we passed northwards into the Silurian district. 

The thin, poor scrub is made up largely of Cassias, Bremophilas, Hakcas, 
and Grevilleas, all thinly scattered about, and with hard, spiny or coriaceous 
leaves. Now and again, especially on the upland stony plains, were patches of 
salt-bush (Atrifilex rhagodioides), the foliage of which has the characteristic and 
well-known blue-grey tint, caused by the presence of a " mealy " secretion on the 



leaves, which is probably of service in checking too rapid evAporation. The ' 
ground is not like that which one is accustomed to in moiater parts ; tussocks of 
grass, such as Spimfix paradoxus, are scattered about, with Httln plants of the 
red-stemmed and poisonous Euphorbia Drummondtiy or of one or two species of 
Ptilotus i^P. exaltatiis and tticanus), bat they are not crowded together, and yoa 
can count the separate plants. It was not at all unusual to see a small patch of 
ground occupied entirely by a colony of one species of a plant such as Ptilotus. 
Along by the river flats the clusters of red fruit of the Darling or Afurray Lily* 
were frequently seen, whilst in the wet season its white flowers are a striking ' 
feature along the Stevenson Valley. 

When once they have grown to a certain size, none of the plants growing on 
the Cretaceous table-lands and along the flats bordering the creeks have to 
compete with one another for space on which to grow. The question of which 
are to survive and which are to die is settled in the main at a very early stage, 
when they are seedlings. Directly after the rains have fallen the ground is 
thickly covered with the bright gr«eu of endless seedlings, but it is only those 
which con reach a certain size and stage of development before the dry season 
fairly sets in which have any chance of surviving; and at a very early time the 
weaklings die off and the stronger ones are left to grow up with no competition as 
between plant and plant, but with a hard struggle against climatic conditions. 

When we passed through, in the dry season, one of the commonest plants 
on the ground was a creeping species of Tribulus (7! terreslris); its large yellow 
flower is pretty enough, but its dried and prickly seed cases are more than irrita- 
ting when you try to camp amongst them, and they seemed to be with us always. 

Quite as irritating, though happily not quite so plentiful as the Tribulus, are 
various species of Bnssia. The seed-coses of these have a pretty <lowny centre, 
perhaps half an inch in diameter, but around this are a number of very stifl', 
sharp-pointed spikes projecting through the soft down. What with these and 
other prickly seeds our camping place was often a bed of thorns, and after 
selecting a spot, a usual preliminary to opening out our rugs was to sweep the 
ground with an impromptu broom of Cassia branches. 

Whilst many plants in tlie arid and desert regions are pi-otected against too 
rapid evaporation by having their leaves or leaf-stalks transformed into thin, 
switch-like structures, others go to the opposite extreme and become thick- 
lenved and succulent. The most common of the latter in the district through 

• Thia !■ ui AnuuyUld pluit^CrinHm /oeeiitem. 





which we travelled are species of Fortulaca, popularly known ns munyeru, and 
various species oE Claytonio. These grow in little clumps, lying low down upon 
the ground, and remain soft and juicy when everything else is dry and withered. 

There can, I think, be little doubt but that this switch-like structure of 
leaves and leaf-stalks, together with, in the case of the desert oak (Castiarina 
Descaineana), the loss of leaves, and the substitution for them of little stiff green 
twigs, and also, in other plants, the development of hard, thorny processes around 
the seed-cases, is simply due to an adaptation to climatic influences, and has, in 
the cose of the Central Australian plants, very little, if indeed anything whatever, 
to do with protection against animals. 

In the first place, there are comparatively few animab to feed upon them ; 
kangaroos and wallabies and other plant-eating marsupials do not exist in 
anything like sufficient numbers to keep the plants down ; and then those which 
are succulent and edible, such as the munyeru and Claytontas, and in no way 
protected against animals, so far as can be seen and judging from the way in 
which they eat them, thrive Just as well as the spiked and thorny plants. 

What appears to be most probably the case is, not that the prickly growth is 
brought about in any way as a protection against predatory auimals, but that it 
and 'the succulent development as well, are adaptations to suit climatic environ- 
ment. If animals, so to speak, want to feed upon these climate-proof plants, then 
tJiey must become fitted to do so. None of these Central Australian plants, 
which are as spiny as they can well be, are in the least thereby protected against 
such an animal as the camel, which will, with relish, munch away at the most 
thorny Acacia (Acacia farnesiana, for example) just as readily as it will feed upon 
the juicy Claytonia. 

It is at all events worth noticing that it is just in the hot, more or less arid 
and desert parts where animals are least numerous, that both the spiny and the 
especially succulent plants are beat developed, and it seems reasonable to connect 
this with their climatic rather than with their animal environment. 

After crossing the Macumba our course lay northwards along the valley of the 
Stevenson, the Macumba River being formed by the union of the Stevenson 
coming down from the north, and the Alberga which runs in from the east, having 
its principal source probably in the Alusgrave Range. As usual the river was 
simply a sandy bed with a few water-holes at intervals. 

« Our camp for the night was pitched when possible by the side of a water-hole. 
- These are all very* much like one another. A patch of green scrub lines their 



banks, and in the water will be found a fair number of molluGCs, such as species of 
Bulinus, Bithinio, and the common mussel, of which the blacks are very fond, one 
or two species of Estheria, and water beetles in abundance, with probably a frog 
or tn'o. On their muddy margins fresh water crabs will sidle away towards their 
holes in the bonks. Plenty of little chestnut-eared finches will be flying about 
amongst the shrubs, and perhaps a pair of graceful dotterels {j^giaKUs nigrifrons) 
may be seen running about in search of aquatic insects. These are all the animals 
that will be found in and about such water-holes as exist for some time during 
the dry months. On our way bockj some four months later, altnost all the water- 
holes in this district were dried up, but buried in the dry clayey mud forming their 
beds were clusters of operculate molluscs* and numbers of water beetles alive. 
The crabs had apparently all retreated into their burrows, but the Bstherias were 
all dead and their empty carapaces strewn on the surface. 

After a day's travel beyond the Macuraba we turned off slightly to the east so 
as to pass the outlying station of Dalhousie. If possible the country was more 
desolate than ever— long upland, gibber plains with bare flat-topped Desert 
Sandstone bills. Across this part are scattered the well known mound springs. 
These mounds are often of considerable diameter, perhaps upwards of 50 feet in 
height with a pool of often warm and sometimes even hot water on their summits. 
The water is more or less impregnated with mineral matter brought up from below, 
and it is the deposition of this which has gradually formed the mound as the water 
evaporates and the sinter or travertine is left behind. At Dalhousie the mound 
around the spring was black with decaying vegetable matter, for the pool was 
surrounded with a growth of rushes. Over the side of the mound the water 
trickles down, but the channel thus formed only extends for a short distance as the 
evaporation is too great and the water supply too small to form anything like a 
long stream. 

These mounds of sinter or travertine, capped with green vegetation, form a 
striking feature in the otherwise . dry and parched-up country in which they are 

A little to the north of Dalhousie we crossed a narrow belt of country 
characterised by the growth along the creek sides of red mulga. This is an Acacia 
{/i. typtropkylla) reaching perhaps a height of twenty feet, the hark of which, 
alone amongst Acacins, is deciduous and peels ofT, forming little deep-red coloured 

BUhinia aiulrolii which I took (rom Uir bed of a dried up wntor-hale and put Into ■ tin 
erteen inontlu ftfler Diy return to Mclboumo, hwiDg been abut up la the box In niy kbortktoty 



flakes. It is evidently very local in ite distribution, and we met with it nowhere 
else except in this district. 

Tmvelting over this country during the daytime, with its dried up creeks and 
stony gibber plains, there is little which looks picturesque ; but at sundown the 
scene becomes quite changed, and it is hard to )>elieve that the picturesque 
appearance is due simply to atmospheric conditiona 

In the desolate gibber country near the Mncumba the pfiect was really 
beautiful. Awny to the east the land rose to flat-topped, terraced ranges. In the 
foreground were white-blue salt-bushes, with pale, light blue patches of low 
herbage and still lighter tufts of grass amongst them, standing out in strong 
ooiitrnst to the purple-hrown gibbers. The country was crossptl by dark lines of 
niulga, marking the creek beds and streaking away up to the hills, which stood 
out sharply against a cold steel-blue sky, melting above into salmon-pink and this 
into deep ultra marine. In the west was a rich after-glow, against which the 
stony plains and hills looked dark purple, with the inulgn branches standing out 
sharp and thin against the sky. 

The colours of the Central Australian landscape at sunrise and sunset are 
just those which at morning and evening light up the barren ranges of Arabia — 
everything is soft and brilliant, but very thin. 

One of the most striking features of the central area, and especially amongst 
the loamy plains and sandhills, is the number of clay-pans. These are shallow 
depressions with no outlet, and varying in length from a few yards to half-o-mile, 
where the surface is covered with a thin layer of clayey material, which seems to 
prevent the wat«r from sinking as rapidly as it does in other parts. 

For the greater part of the year they are perfectly dry with a thin surface 
flim broken up into curled glistening flakes or, where the clayey mud is tliicker, 
fissures perhaps a foot in depth run down between roughly hexagonal masses of 
hardened earth, which on their surface bear tlie imprints of the animals — Emus or 
Kangaroos — which crossed them while they were still moist, in search of the lost 
remnants of water. 

As we passed by these in the dry season everything was parched and silent, 
with no sign of animal Ufc. The dead shells of molluscs, the carapaces of 
Kstherias, and the foot marks of frogs showed that tliey had once contained an 
abundance of animal life. Their margins were bordered by withered shrubs of 
Chenopodium, by tussocks of yellow dried up grass and often by the dried leaves 
and hard wooden seeds of the Nardoo plant. 



A few montha later as I passed through the sntne district, soon after a heavy 
fall of rain, the whole scene was changed. Everything waa green and bright and 
teeming ivith life. All the trees and shrubs. had put on a fresh growth of leaves, 
the ground was covered with a rich crop of grass amongst which were acres of 
clumps of white Qowering Amaryltids {Crinum fiacddum'), the creeks and clay-pans 
were filled with water, birds of various kinds — wood duck, teal, water hens, 
plovers, and many others were to be counted by the score. These birds appear 
with the rain, and then as the water-holes dry up disappear as quickly and 
mysteriously as they have come. 

The clay-pana were now filled with a distinct and abundant fauna of their 
own. Day and night they were alive with the croaking of frc^ ; Estherias and 
water beetles were darting up and down ; hundreds of Apus were swimming about 
or else scooping out the sand on the margins of the water-holes and so making 
little holes in which they simply lie and die as the water rapidly dries up. 

The whole change from sterility to exuberant life had taken place as if by 
magic within the space of only a few days. 

It is worth while noticing in more detail the water-hole and clay-pan fauna of 
the Central area, for probably it is very similar in its nature over the whole of the 
interior, and it coD^sts of representatives of three groups of animals which have, 
each in its own way, become especially adapted to the climate of the steppes and 
desert with their long seasons of drought and short intervals of rain. 

These three groups are the Amphibia, Arthropoda, and Mollusov*. 

To begin with the Amphibia. Standing by a water-hole or clay-pan though 
you can hear the frogs croaking all around you cannot so easily see them. The 
surface of the water is flecked with the long stalked floating leaves of the Nardoo 
plant {^MarsiUa qundri/olia) which are fully grown, while the permanent short 
stalked leaves around the base are as yet only beginning to develope and are 
covered with water. 

If you disturb the water you will see a number of little green patches, which 
you have probably taken for Nardoo leaves, suddenly disappear, These are the 
heads of one or two kinds of frogs (either Chirokptes plalycephalus or Htlei'oporus 

* This nlen lo Uis water-holo ud cUj-puu In the ilaert mnd cton}' tablo-Und oountry which iik oI 
tonpanuT luWn ud not to (he fewer deeper and mors pemuuient rock-poola unongA the lUnge*. I h«Te 
purpoaeljr muittal Flah becBiue they da not form part o( the pemuuient iMinn of thoH vrntor-holca and eluj-'ptuH, 
heing only nuilied deirn Into them during flood Umea Iroin the pernianont pools amon^ the FUnB:e«, or perhape 
carried alxnit In Che fonn 0( e^tZ" ilttaehed to the feet and feathers el Mids. 



pUlus) and you are al) the more surprised because, if you have only seen them 
before in the dry season, you were not at all prepared for such a transformntion in 
colour. Then they were a dull, dirty yellow like the water and the dried up hanks 
and vef^tation, now they are yellow and orange and green like the water which 
is thick with yellow sand and mud particles, and dotted with bright green Nardoo 
leaves. Both these frogs are a fair size, but, in addition to them, there will 
be found a good many little grey and brown Hylas (H. rubella) sometimes 
brightened with yellow patches, but, on the whole, dull coloured in both the wet 
and dry season. They will be found hopping about on the banks and hiding in 
damp places under stones and, in addition, hundreds of tadpoles will be seen 
which have developed with great rapidity from eggs deposited since the rainfall. 

I am much indebted to Mr. Alexander Sutherland who has been good 
enough to inform me of some of his interesting results recently arrived at in the 
matter of the varying rate of development of frog eggs at different lemperotures 
from which wo can form some idea of how rapidly the eggs develop in a Central 
Australian water-hole. 

In a letter which Mr. Sutherland has kindly allowed me to reproduce he 
quotes the following results of experiments on batches of eggs of Hyla aurea 
consisting of thirteen in each. 










39 hours 


48 hours 


50 „ 


52 „ 


59 „ 


56 „ 


69 „ 

22-2° - 

65 „ 

21-5° - 

73 „ 

21 r - 

67 „ 

In another experiment the average temperature was 308° and the time 
occupied in hatching out was 34 hours ; in another the average temperature was 
30-7* and the time 34 hours ; and in another the average temperature was 28-7° 
and the time 37 hours. 

Mr. Sutherland adds "thus if these e^^ are to hatch out in three days the 
temperature must be only between 21° and 32°. Now, in my present turtle <^ 
hatching experiments, water kept without artificial heat in a cellar shows a range 
of only 18'5° to 2raft«r four days of observation taken day and night at intervals 
of three hours. I should not be in the least surprised if the ponds in Central 
Australia reached 25° as a tolerable average through the summer months in which 



cose two duys would be enough to hatuli out the eggs. If the hot day lasted six- 
teen houra, and hented a pond to 27°,while the night in which the water cooled to 
18° lasted eight hourE, then «ii easy calculation would show that the time should 
be nbout fifty-five hours. Probably it is an essential to the reproduction of these 
creatures that they should spawn in hot weather and so secure the advantage of a 
two days period of incubation." 

I have not yet had the opportunity of testing the rapidity with which the 
frogs' eggs develop in the clay-pans and water holes of Central Australia, but as 
the rains fall during the hottest part of the ycjvr, when even at night-time the 
temperature remains high, tliere can be little doubt that the temperature of the 
water is exceedingly favourable to a rapid development, and there is no doubt 
whatever that this rapid development does take place ; in fact, if the animal is to 
have any chance of surviving it must do so. 

Amongst the Arthropoda the most striking form is Apus {A. ausfraliftish"), 
which is often seen coming to the surftvce, where it swims about on its back, its 
red appendages rendering it easily seen from above, whilst from beneath its 
yellow carapace may perhaps serve at once to hide and to protect it from its 
enemies, the voracious water-beetles, which are darting up and down. Various 
species of bivalved Crustaceans, some three-quarters of an Inch in length, swim 
about. One form, Eslheria ptukardi, is present in great numbers and persists long 
after the other fomia have disappeared from the water and are represented only 
by their empty carapaces. This and some of the others have red blood, but the 
lai^r foi-ms, which are much rarer (belonging to a new gpnus, Limnadopsis), have 
quite colourless blood. 

All these Crustacea for some reason seem to prefer muddy water. From the 
Macumba River, during the summer time, when it was in flood and tlie water was 
muddy, I secured specimens of all of them, but seitrching in the same water-holes 
two or three weeks later, when the water was clear, there was not one to be 
found though they were still alive in the muddy clay-pans close by. 

The contrast between the way in which Apus and the Estheriaa swim is very 
marked, the former on its back with the feet uppermost and the latter with the 
feet lowermost. The difference is probably associated with the fact that the two 
halves of the Estheria carapace can be completely closed over the animal's body 
for protection, whilst such closure cannot take place in the case of Apus, whose 
soft and blood-red appendages are very prominent and would be constantly seized 
upon by the voracious water-beetles if it swam on the surface with its back 



Uppermost. On one occasion, us noted in the zoological reports, I CAtnc acroHs an 
Apim struggling violently and on taking it out of the wnter found no fewer than 
three water beetles tearing its soft appendages out of which the blood was oozing. 

In the water-hules nioug the creeks, but not in the clay-pans, the banks are 
thick with the holes burrowed out by the fresh water crab (Telphusa Iransversa) 
the distribution of which so far as at present recorded is a curiouH one as it has 
only been described from the central region and the very north of Queensland at 
Cape York and Thursday Island. In alt prububility it is widely dispersed over 
the interior of Queensland and New South Wales, though the contrast in its 
surroundings at Cwpe York and Charlotte Waters, for example, is as marked as it 
can well be. 

Aniongst the Mollusca forms l)etoiiging to the genera Bultnus and Bithinia 
will be found attached to any bit of stick or weed, and the fresh water mussel 
{JJnio stuarW) is sometimes present in abundance buried in the muddy banks of 
the creeks, though neither it nor the crnb are found in the proper clay-pans — that 
is in the shallow depressions not in the course of a river bed. 

In addition to these animals there are often seen little light brown jelly-like 
masses, which when alive I took to be fresh water Sponges, but which on further 
examination turn out to be colonies of Itutifers (Lacinularia sp.) some of the 
colonies reaching a length of an inch and a half, and is addition to these a 
branching Folyzoon b often found attached to stones and sticks. 

Sooner or later the clay-pans and water-holes dry up, and to all appearance 
animal life has completely died out. In the case of the E^therias, Apus, Rotifers, 
and Folyzoa the animals have all perished, but their eggs remain and can be 
blown alwut from one place to another by the strong winds which often prevail 
throughout the dry months, and they are ready to develope as soon as ever the 
water-holes ore again filled. In the case of the other members of the clay-pan 
fauna it is quite different, for if you know where to look for them you will lie able 
to find them hidden away safely Destivating. They have one and all gone down 
into the mud while it whs soft and in this which becomes so hard that you can 
only break it away bit by bit they lie imprisoned until released by the next heavy 
rains. Probably many of them perish if tlie drought be of exceptional length. 
Tlie most interesting animal is the Bun-owing or Water-holding Fn^ {Chirolep/e! 
plalycephalus). As the pools begin to dry up it fills itself out with water, which in 
some wuy passes through the walls of the alimentary canal filling up the body 
cavity and swelling the animal out until it looks like a small orange. In this 



conditiou it occupies a cavity just big euough fur tlie body and Bimply goes bo 

When, with the aid of a native, we cut it out of its hiding phice the animal at 
IJDit roniained perfectly still with its lower eyelid completely dmwn over the eye 
giving it the appearance of being blind, which indeed the blacks assured us that it 
was. It is said that a black fellow when travelting over such country as this 
where in times of drought there is not a drop of water visible will use these frogs 
its a water supply. A native will tell you at once where to dig for a fro^ being 
guided by faint tracks often indistinguishable to the unpractised eye of the white 
man. He will also obtaiu water from the roots of certain mallee gums and other 
trees, such as the Hakeas and Gasuorinas. A white man may search in vain for 
such water supplies but a black fellow will know by instinct where to tind them. 

The snails protect themselves if they have no natural operculum by filling up 
the mouth of the shell with a pellet of hard earth, and in the case of one species, 
IsidoreUa (BuHnus) ntwcombi, one of the most abundant of the fresh water snails, 
which I dug out from the earth at the base of a gum tree above the water level of 
the quickly evaporating pool, I found that the earth seemed to have been specialty 
prepared and finely ground down by passing through the alimentary canal. The 
plug thus formed bad the colour and consistency of hard chocolate and was very 
different in appearance from the surrounding earth. 

As to the water beetle {Hydrophilm albipes) this seems to be the hardiest 
animal of all, it simply goes down into the earth and there it remains in a crack 
making no special burrow or provision for itself. How long it can remain alive in 
this state is not known, but the blacks assured me that it would come out alive 
when the rains came. 

This brief account will serve to give an outline of the natural history of a 
typical Australian clay-pan and water-hole, the animals living in which must adapt 
themselves to alternate conditions of drought and flood often recurring at irregular 
intervals of time. 

All along our course from Oodnadabta to Charlotte Waters the country was 
in a miserable condition with water-holes rapidly drying up, whilst the dead and 
dried up carcasses of cattle which had crept under the shelter of a mulga tree to 
die were often seen, and showed how severe had been the drought before the last 

Our seventh night out from Oodnadatta we camped beside a water-pool on the 
Adminga Creek, which was bordered for the main part by a belt of the stinking 



Acacia or Giddea (A. homalophylld). When the branches are freshly cut it well 
deserves the former niiiiie as they have a most objectionable smell. Instead of 
liaving stiff, thia stems like the Mulga it has curved and twisted ones and the 
younger trees form more or less thick bushes. Tlie foliage is a light oslicii 
green and most depressiug in appearance, especially when the hot sun shines 
upon it. 

The next morning after photographing the group represented in the illustra- 
tion (Plate 1), we crossed the bed of the creek, and after traversing one or two 
flats and very rough stony country, the trnck rose until close tu the base of Mount 
Frank on the west, we once more cut the t«legraph lina For miles ahead it could 
be seen streaking away like a thin line to the horizon on which we could just 
distinguish through the waves of heated air the outline of the telegraph station. 
Small tow-lying hills seen across these upland plains during the heat of the day 
become transformed into high ranges and mere shrubs become forest trees reflected 
in the waters of the mirage lakes. 

Late in the afternoon we reached the station where we were welcomed by Mr. 
Byrne and, after communicating with friends in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney, 
went on to camp beside the Coglin Creek about a mile to the north of the station. 

We had been travelling slowly and it had taken us some eight days to traverse 
the one hundred and fifty miles which we had so far covered, but to most of us it 
was our first introduction to the interior of Australia and our time hod not been 
wasted. Though this part lying along the telegraph line b the Central Australian 
highway (Plate 2) still everything we saw — scenery, plants and aniuials — was more 
or less novel to us and already a good many new forms had been collected, fuels 
noted and we had begun our work in earnest. 

Some nine months later I traversed the same district after rains had fallen for 
the purpose of completing work which I had not been able lo finish during the 
Expedition and of securing certain forms, such as the Apus for example, which 
can only be obtained after rain. Charlotte Waters then became well known to 
me and I take this opportunity of expressing my thanks to my friend Mr. P. M. 
Byrne not only for the warm hospitality extended to me but for his most valuable 
co-operation in the work of collecting, especially in regard to the Mammals and 
Lizards of the Charlotte Waters district. Many of the more valuable and rare 
species have been secured since the return of the Expedition, for the simple 
reason that to secure them needs different climatic conditions to those which we 
encountered, and the opportunity of obtaining these I owe entirely to Mr. Byrne. 



On the occnsioQ of my second visit to Chadotte Waters it whs almost 
impossible to believe that I was passing over the same parched and dried-up 
country which we had previously traversed. The contrast with respect to the 
vegetation and the water-holes and clay-pans has been already alluded t« but in 
every respect the change was most strikiug. 

Being sninmer time, the climate was ratlior trying. Even in winter during 
the hot days the flies are rather annoying, but in sammer they are simply 
exasperating and all day long you mast shield your eyes, ears and nose if you are 
to have anything tike comfort The onJy way in which I found it at all possible 
to make any observations or to collect was by tying my head into a muslin bag 
and putting up with the irritation on the hands. Long before the buzzing of the 
flies ceases in the evening the mosquitoes are humming around in myriads, and 
when camped out at night the only chance of sleep, unless by good luck a wind 
was blowing, was to lie in a little coffin-sliaped tent of cheese-cloth. If the wind 
blew, then there were certainly fewer flies, but everything you had — clothes, food 
and collecting material — was penetrated by tine sand-grains. Il was often in the 
summer time an alternative as to whether our meals would consist of bread, meat 
and flies, or bread, meat and sand. The blacks, whose greasy skin has a great 
attraction for the flies, do not seem to mind them and often you will see their 
eyes covered with the insects which they do not even take the trouble to 
brush oS. 

There is, however, one pest which is far less troublesome immediately after 
the wet than during the dry season, and that is the ants, at least this is so in the 
country through which T travelled. On our Expedition little block ants were 
wandering about everywhere, on my second visit scarcely one was to be seen. As 
I went up, the ground was alive with countless numbers of caterpillars of various 
sizes crawling about in all directions and affording a plenteous food supply not 
only to frogs and lizards whose bodies were swollen out with them, but also to the 
blacks. On the return journey not a trace of them was to be seen, but their place 
was taken by a particular kind of small brown grasshopper, the larger forms of 
which insect (such as Trigonizn maailatus\ so plentiful during the dry months, 
were not now to be found. Probably these small ones in their turn would 
disappear and give place to something else. 

Lizards abounded and were all full of eggs and not only tliis but just like the 
frogs they were, as compared with those previously obtained, in their brightest 



lu lionie foniiK, such- as Amphibolurus fUlus, a coloured drawing of wiiiuli 
accompanies the article of Messrs. Lucas aud Frost in the Zoological section oE the 
work, the males could now be always readily distinguislied by tlicir more strongly 
marked colouration from the females. In A. maatlaius the diHerence is stiil more 
striking, the jet-black patches oa the under surface of the male are entirely 
wanting in the female, and the two sexes can be distinguished at a glance. 

This often really brilliant colouration liaa apparently nothing to do with the 
colour of their environment, indeed to human eyes it renders them more easily 
seen, and this at a time when their enemies the birds are especially abundant. 

AdapUttion to their environment for protective purposes is evidently by no 
meitns the principal determining factor in the colouration of these lizards. This 
brighter colouration which is strongly marke<) in both sexes but especially, as 
usual, in the male is to be associated with the peculiar activity of the chemical 
processes tabing place in the skin as in all parts of the animal. In the dry season 
food is scarce and the animals become lethargic and dull coloured, in the rain 
season food is abundant, every animal is at work gorging itself, all its activities 
are at the highest pitch and intimately associated with the sum total of its 
activities and the necessary great increase of chemical activity in every organ and 
part of the body is the development of brightly coloured pigments. That these, as 
in the case sometinies of the frogs, may fit in with the colours of the environment 
and so, perhaps, to a certain extent, serve for protection is a secondary matter. 
Anyone who has collected such animals as Amphibolurus piclus will have brought 
home to htm the fact tliat brillanC colouration is often the accompaniment of a 
general state of activity, and that it has, at all events in many cases, nothing 
whatever to do with that of the surroundings. 

Though in the dry season a general yellowish colour is characteristic of many 
form (such as the species of Amphibolurus allud<^l to) which are found on the sand- 
hills and stony and loamy plains, still there is really no difficulty, so far as human 
eyes are concerned, in seeing a lizard, and, in the breeding season, they become 
brightly tinted with colours such as blue which does not exist in their environment. 

Forms such as Gehyra varitgata and HeUroitota bynoei, which are often 
beautifully coloured, habitually, at all events in the day time, stay under logs and 
stones and are never seen in the open. One form — a new one — which we found 
( Varanus gilleni) climbs the trunks of desert oaks and gum trees, and with its 
purplish-grey tinge may perhaps secure a certain amount of concealment ; but if 
you are on the look out for them it is really very rarely that you find yourself 



deceived by colour mnrkiufjs, and in some cases, oe, for example, the bright red 
tail of Abtepharus ruJUaudatus, the colour is a decided help. 

It is, of courBe, possible that the red tail may be easily Been and pounced upon 
by an eaemy, who secures the tail but loses the body, but it is, oa the other hand, 
difficult to undnrstaud what particular odvaatage the possession of a conspicuous 
part of the body is eis compared with the advantage to be gained from a general 
inconspicuous colouration of the whole body. 

Then too, as in the case especially of Egernia whttii, there is a very great 
range in colour amongst specimens found in the same district as they may vary 
from a dull yellow-brown with strong black markings to a bright brick-red with 
faint dark markings — a variation which has nothing to do with their surroundings. 

In Uie case of some of the beetles, as, for example, many of the grey Curculios, 
which lie quiet in the cracks of bark, the colour of which they exactly assume, it is 
certainly not an easy matter to always determine at first sight whether you see a 
beetle or a hit of bark, but then, supposing these fall a prey to such an animal as 
a lizard, the latter climbing a tree trunk, or a bird doing the same, will probably 
be guided quite as much by the sense of sniell as by that of sight. 

It would not, of course, be a difficult matter, so far as these Central 
Australian animals are concerned, to guthei* n series during the dry season and 
place them amongst sand and stones and withered herbage as an illustration of 
protective colouration, but then it would be only right and eqiully instructive to 
take identically the same scries during the wet season and place them amongst 
their surroundings as an instance of the general absence of any special protective 

I have already pointed out however, that the frog, CkiroUptes plalycephalui, 
does, without doubt, at different seasons assume a colouration which is in general 
accord with ite surroundings ; but whilst this must be admitted to be the case, 
there are other consiile rations which must be taken into account. At first sight 
the head of a Chiroleptes looks very much like a floating Nardoo leaf, but a very 
small amount of experience enables you to distinguish between the two, and, in 
addition to this, the frogs are in much more danger from their enemies on land 
than in water. Now, the slightest rustle near water makes them disappear at 
once, and on land, where they are more exposed, their colouration might protect 
them if it were not for their habit of hopping about the moment you approach 
them. Then, again, in the case of the small and very abundant frog, Hyla rubtlla, 
there is no such marked seasonal change in colour, the frogs always remaining a 



dull brown or grey, the bright yellow markings on the flanks and sides of tLu liody 
being only visible when the animal moves. It must, however, bo noted that these 
frogs remain close to the water's side on the sandy or, in wet weather, nmddy bank, 
and usually shelter under stones. 

The impression which is left upon one after collecting these Central Australian 
animals in both the dry season, when they are dull coloured and in tlie wet 
season, when they are brightly coloured, is that the often i-en)ark&ble change in 
colouration is of very little service so far as protection is concerned, even when the 
change in colour is such as to produce a general resemblance between the colour of 
the animal and that of its surroundings ; whilst in certain coses, such as that of 
the lizard Ampkibolurus piefus, the brighter colours render the animal more 
conspicuous to human eyes and presumably to such enemies as tiie snakes, who 
certainly feed upon it. 

It is, further not perhaps without interest to note that the change from a dull 
to a brilliant colouration takes plaoo at or about the breeding season in the cose of 
the frogs and lizards, but that this change, which is really just as striking as in 
that of many birds, has nothing whatever to do with the choice of partners. 

Souietime, us in the (togs and certain lizards (such as Amphiboiurus rtticulalus) 
it affects equally the male and female, while in others (such as Amphiboiurus pklus 
and A. maeutalui) the male is more affected than the female. 

This change in colouration actually takes place quite apart from and indeed 
reaches its highest development after pairing has taken place. What happens in 
the case of the Central Australian frogs and lizards is that the moment the rain 
falls the animals become active — the frogs come out of their hiding places — and at 
once pairing takes place. Every animal sets to work to feed and to reproduce its 
species, and in this state of general activity both mole and female rapidly, but 
independently of, and as before said, subsequently to, pairing assumes its brightest 

In the warm damp ground the seeds rapidly germinate. In a wonderfully 
short time the bare loamy plain and even the stony gibbertield becomes green 
with herbage ; caterpillars and adult insects appear in myriads, frogs and lizards 
feed upon tbe insects whilst birds and snakes devour the frogs and lizards. 

A study of tbe Central Australian fauna leads one to the following main 
conclusions with regard to colouration : — 



(1) That in the dry BPUEon whea food is scarce and the sum total of activities 
is at the lowest point, tlie various aiiinmls such as frogs and lizards are dull 
coloured, but that tliis dull colouration has not of necessity (as in the case of 
Ampkibolurus barbatus) miy definite relation to the environment, though it is often 
in general accord with it. 

(3) That in the rainy season when food is plentiful and the sum total of the 
activities is at the highest point, various animals are highly coloured, but that this 
often brilliant colouration has nothing to do either with choice of partners 
(reaching its climax after pairing has taken place) or with protective colouration — 
sometimes even it renders the animal more conspicuous. 

Many animate remain under shelter during tlie heat of the day; along the 
grassy flats kangaroos may be seen feeding, and on the Porcupine sandhills the 
Riit-kangarooa {Betlongia, Itsueuri) are constantly dodging in and out amongst the 
tussocks. Tlie Jew lizard (Amphibolurus barbatui) is often seen sunning itself, 
and otiier allied species dart into their holes wlien disturbed. There is a great 
contrast in this respect between different •lizards, and it is the Skinks which 
appear to be most susceptible to heat One day in summer, out amongst the hot 
sand in the bed of the Finke, where Mr. Byrne and myself were camped, the 
blacks came up with a number of lizards, and amonst them a tine specimen of 
Tiliqua ocdptlalis. Having my bands full of specimens, I asked a blackfellow to 
look after it and not to let it escape, when to my surprise he simply put it down 
on the hot sand. It was perfectly alive when put down, having been captured in 
its hole, and when placed on the ground it began to travel at some rate, but after 
going five yai'ds its movements became slower and before ten yards had been 
traversed tliey ceased and the animal was quite dead — simply apparently baked to 
death by contact with the hot sand. 

About half a mile to the north of Charlotte Waters Station lies the Coglin 
Creek, on which by the side of a water-hole we were camped. Twelve miles away 
to the east is the main clianiiel of the Finke, where, as a general rule, the waters 
in the raiuy season spread out and are lost amongst the sandhills, though during 
heavy floods they may flow further south to join those of the Macumba and so 
perhaps swell the streaais flowing into the north of Lake £yre. 

Leaving our camp on May Idth, we travelled northwards still following the 
telegraph line. Across the creek the country changes the stony gibber plains 
giving place to undulating sandy country covered with a scrub of Acacias princi- 
pally Giddea with Mulga and A. uiieina., the latter very prickly with ite aborted 
branchlets which have become modified into thorns. 



Our black boy showed ub the root of a ti-ee (Les(kenhaullia divarUafa) which 
the natives put into the fire nnd then scrape so as to obtain a resinous material 
which Clin be used for fastening pieces of flint on to the handles of spear-throwers, 
etc., though in all the implements which we s«w it was the resin obtoined from the 
Porcupine grass {Trtodia) which was used for this purpose. 

There were just a few tussocks of Porcupine grass about, but we were not as 
yet in the true Porcupine country. 

On the sand were the little cmter-liko pita and tracks of ant lions (Myrmeleon). 
The way to And the animal during the da,y-time is to follow up a track leading 
away from a crater until it comes to a sudden stop, which indicates that here the 
larva is at rest an inch or two benejith the sand. Only rarely during day-time can 
they be found at the bottom of the little craters, which are probably used at night. 
At first we hnd searched unsuccessfully below them, but a black l)oy on being 
asked to show us where the ant lion " sat down," as he called it, at once started 
away from the crater and followed up the track which is a very distinct groove on 
the surface made by the animal as it drags its body along. Tho aid of the blacks 
is simply indispensable in procuring specimens, sometimes they are at a lass, but 
very seldom, and as a general rule not only recognise each individual track, but 
from the appearance of the marks at the mouth of u burrow, will at once tell you 
whether the animal is in it or not. 

For miles ahead from any alight rise we could see the track looking like a 
clean cut line in the scrub rising and falling over tho low sand ridges. We camped 
for the night not far to the east of Mount Daniel, the highest point of a low lying 
range up which in the morning Messrs. Horn, Watt and Winnecke rode to 
endeavour if possible to gain some idea of the country away to the West in the 
direction of the Ayers Range, which according to the first plans drawn up it had 
been intended that we should visit. The rest of the party crossed a stony ridge 
covered with Giddea scrub and came down into the valley of the Ooyder, where we 
camped by the side of a well dug in the middle of tho channel, which was of course 
quite dry save for a small water-hole. As a general rule water may be obtained in 
these sandy beds by sinking to a depth of from thirty to forty feet, though to 
obtain anything like a permanent supply they must be sunk to a greater depth 
than this, and the South Australian Government to secure a water supply for 
parties traversing the overland track has sunk a series of these wells at intervals, 
without the existence of which it would, in seasons of drought, be very difficult to 
cross the country. 



A permanent water supply is also being obtained from artesian bores. By 
the railway side at Coward Springs one of tliese baa been sunk, and from its 
mouth the water rises to a height of some fifteen feet. Another has been sank at 
Oodnadntta and a third is now being sunk by the side of the Hamilton, some 
sixty mites north of Oodnadatta ; when this is complete the line will be continued 
northwards by one in the neighbourhood of Charlotte Waters. For stock purposes 
these wells will be of the greatest service. The grass which thickly clothes the 
loam plains of the centre during a good season is apparently peculiarly well 
adapted for stock feeding, and is readily eaten even when it appears to be 
perfectly dried up, but the great difficulty is the entire absence perhaps for months 
at a time of surface water, so that these wells will serve as centres from which 
cattle can work back over wide areas of country which would otherwise be 
incapable of carrying them during dry seasons. 

On our way we had halteil by the aide of a dry clay-pan and had obtained 
several specimens of the water-holding frog (Chiroleptes plaiycephalus) leetivating in 
its burrow at the base of a Chenopodium shrub. 

By the Ooyder we spelled for a day, and were glad of the opportunity to do 
so OS our specimens needed careful packing, and we had also the opportunity of a 
few hours collecting. The banks of the stream were bordered about three miles 
away from our camp by low cliffs of unconformably stratified sandstone^ from the 
top of which we obtained an extensive view over the scrub in all directions. To 
the south-east lay the terraced Mount Daniel ranges and to the north-west Mount 
Townsend, a single, flab-topped hill with a well-marked outlier, broke the otherwise 
level line of Mulga scrub stretcliing away to the horizon. 

Along the sandy bed of the river fine red-gums (Eucalyptus rostrata) were 
growing as usual, and here and there were patches of Porcupine grass. Setting 
fire to heaps of diMs, we dislodged numerous lizards, amongst which the most 
interesting was the very agile, thin-bodied Physignathus longirostris. The only 
other representative of this genus in Australia is found in the well-watered parts 
of Elastem Australia, from Queensland in the north to the very south of Victoria. 
In these coastal districts it is semi-aquatic in its habits, spending its time on logs 
in and by the water side, from which, when disturbed, it rapidly dives. It is 
periiaps worth noticing that this genus is represented in the steppe fauna, and 
that in the central area it is met with along the dry creek l>eds, which maybe 
taken ns indicating that at one tinie, like its close ally, P. lesueurii, it also was 
semi-aquatic in its habits, but that in course of time it has been able to accom- 



inodat« itself to a dry climate, though it still repeals its original hnbit in following 
up the croek beds. 

At the Ooyder wns secured the first specimen of the Western black cockatoo 
{Calyplorhynckus stelhilatiis), which does not appear to eictend further south thun 
this. Subsequently large flocks of it were often seen, especially in the neighbour- 
hood of water-holes amongst the ranges. The northern form (C macrorhynthus) 
does not apparently come down into the centre of the continent. 

It was very evident that the Goyder River had not run for a very long time 
and that therefore the country out to the west, which would have to be traversed 
in order to reach the Ayers Kjtnge, wo»ld be extremely dry and barren, and 
probably uBeless as a collecting ground ; so, after some discussion, it was deter- 
mined that we should push on northwards towards the James Ranga 

As the camel team travelled slowly, it was arranged that Messrs. Winnccke 
and Watt should make a dkiour to, the west and rejoin the main party on the Lilla 
Creek. Accordingly we separated for a few days. The main paity went on across 
country towards the Finke at Crown Point. After some miles' travelling through 
the usual scrub we came to the brow of a small escarpment forming the southern 
boundary of the Finke valley, the river here running almost due east and west 
Away in the distance the course of the river could be distinguished by its belt of 
green gum trees, which extended from the point in the far north where it passed 
through a gap in the flat-topped hills at Crown Point. 

Passing down through a picturesque defile in the Desert Sandstone escarp- 
ment, we came into the broad plains of the Finke valley, and following this up for 
some miles, camped close to Crown Point at the base of a line of yellow sandstone 
clifis some thirty feet high. 



The Lower Steppes. 

From the Finke River to the James Range. 

DitMvery and MmInK ol tho Ffnke by McDouill Stuart, in 1860— VLcw o( the Flnke Valloj'— Cunnlnghsm Gnp ami 
Crown Point— Camp of Blaoka— Thcit lile In Camp -CorrobborecB -T»'o importuit rornn, onHnarj- and 
sncred— Churina. nrred Stones and StlfkB-Orgnniation or the Tribe— The way in vhkh thoj' prepan l« 
on ordinary' Corrobborcc— ITsoal Omanienta. Wenpons, and ImpleinenU— Women Houmlng— CaIl«Unf; 
nmon^rt the Sandhllla— Pjnuiiott kenhairl and Danais petilla— Scorpioni— Daif Adder— Occuircnci; and 
tlabita of LluinodynoilM ornatus-Two Tj-pes of Burrowing Frog* in Central Australia— De|»rture from 
Crown Point- Beach the Lllla Cteek-Mwt Heaan. Walt and Winneekc at the Hone Shoe Bend on the 
Finke— The Horn Kaiitfo- Social Caterpiiiar Case* on Eucaij-plniB mierotheea and Acaclaa Varioui ense 
HntliB— Dcscrljitlon ol the Seruii— Canip at Id mcowia— Determine upon Future Plans- Return ol Ur. Horn 
to Adelaide— Vi^t \o ChanitKns Pillar— Sandhills -Dcaert Oaks-Deseriptlon of the miar— Myth of the 
Blorks to account lor the Pillar— Nature and Foniiation ol Water-holei alsiiK the Kiven-Sudden 
appearance ol Floods in parU uhere no Rain has fallen- Presence ol Fish in the Water-hole- No Fish in 
Centml Auatmlia known to have ti^cn on Uie habit of Protopterua, the Uud Fish- Nolorj'ctes tjphkipa. the 
Manu]i)al Uolc— Is Hotorj'ctes a form speeiall]' niodifled since ellniatie eonditlona became changed In the 
Central area, or is It the reuinantol a once more widely dlipeCHd lonn !— Departure tram Idracowtn— Cro« 
the Palmer Itlvcr and reach Ilenbury— Waterpool at Henbury— The Bony Bream. Chatoeasui homi - 
Chandler RanKe and (he Ceremonial Stone, Antaaris— Collecting amonggt the DIacka Camped at Ilenbnrj'— 
Leave Ilcnbut^'— Eiicalyptns tcamDphylla— Large Spider Weba in the Serub-Runninfc Waters on the Finke-- 
Fresh Water Cm} flah— Beach lllamurta In the James Range and pan out of the Desert Sanditone Area. 

It was a little to the north of the point at which we were camped that more than 
thirty years ago Stuart in his overland journey first struck the river course and 
named it the Finke. He must evidently have passed through during a fairly good 
Eoason, as he says* — "t sent Kekwick to examine the Creek that I saw coming from 
the north. He says that there is plenty of water to serve our purpose. The creek is 
very largo, with the flnest gum trees we have yet seen, all sizes and heights. This 
seems to I>e a favourite place for the blacks to camp as there are eleven worleys in 
one encannpment We saw here a number of new parrots, the black cockatoo and 
numerous other birds. The creek runs over a space of two miles, coming from the 

west, the bed is sandy The creek I have named the Finke after 

William Finke, Esq., of Adelaide, my sincere and tried friend and one of the 
liberal supporters of the different exp^itions I have had the honour to lead." 

The Finke River or the Larapinta as the natives call it is, despite its size, a 
typical Central Australian river course. In dry seasons, that is for the greater part 
of each year and sometimes for more than a year at a time, it may be said to bo 
perfectly dry save for one or two deeper pools alone; its course across the Lower 

* Journal ol John HcDouall Stuart, ISSI. p. lie. 



Horn Exped. Cent. Ausl. Nar 

Crown Point, 



Steppes, as for example at Henbuiy, and the rocky pools amongst the ranges 
where it and its tributaries, take tlieir rise. It flows in a generally south east 
direction and receives on the east two large tributaries the Ellery and, the Hugh 
and on the west the Palmer, the Lilla and the Ooyder. 

It drains an area which, it is estimated, cannot be less than eighty thousand 
square miles, and which has, roughly speaking, the form of a trianf;le, the base of 
which is formed by the main McDonnell Range extending from 132° E. to 134^° 
E. A line drawn from either end of this to the northern margin of Lake Ey™ 
will enclose the greater part of the Finke Basin. A reference to the map will 
show that in reality it extends somewhat further out beyond the line forming the 
south-western boundary of this triangle. 

From the top of the cliff at the base of which we were camped the view was 
one very characteristic of many part« of Central Australia — that is of the 
Lower Steppes — over which extends the great Upper Cretaceous sandstone plain. 

Just below us the river swept round in a big curve towards the eoat^ its bed 
was in parts upwards of a quarter of a mile wide and simply a sheet of white sand 
without a trace of water. In the bed itself and forming a fringe to it the red 
gums {E. rostrata) grew with their white trunks shining brightly in the sunlight. 
Beyond them on the land liable to be flooded during very heavy rains grew the 
swamp gums or box trees {E. microtkecd), and t>ehind these was the undulating 
sandhill country covered with thin scrub with darker looking patches where the 
Mulga was more dense. 

Three miles %o the north of us the river was running from north to south 
through the Cunningham Gap which pierced a long range of the usual flat topped 
hills between two and three hundred feet high, which ran east and west. An 
outlier close to the western bank of the river stood out by itself, and has, from its 
shape, given the name of Crown Point to this spot 

This outlier is seen in the accompanying illustration (Plate 5), which is 
reproduced from a photograph taken with a telephotographic lens at a distance of 
three miles from Crown Point. Around the base of the hill is a thick fringe of 
river gums {Eucalyptus rostrata\ the river bed itself lying just to the right of the 
part represented in the photograph. The latter shows very clearly the level 
capping of Desert Sandstone which overlies the softer and more friable sandstone 

Everything was as di^ as usual with scarcely a sign of animal life except for 
the crows which followed the camp everywhere, and of course ants innumerable. 



On the flats surrounding the rivers were low Ijing shrubs and clumps o! 
Spinifox* gmss. In the debris were a few beetles and the dead shells of various 
land and water snails carried down by the flood from their living places amongst 
the ranges of the Higher St«ppcs. 

All these rivers in the central area are liable to sudden floods. A great 
downpour wilt perhaps occur in the ranges ; from the smooth rocks and the hard- 
baked ground the water rushes in torrents into the river channels and descends at 
times with scarcely any warning from the highlands in the centre on to the plains 
to the south. For a short time the river channel is far too small to carry away 
the great mass of water, which spreads over all the fiats along the bank. Great 
stretches of country previously impassable because of lack of water now become 
impassable from flood. Very rapidly, with the cessation of the downpour, the 
water is withdrawn within the limits of the river channel, where it is soon 
absorbed by the sand and all that is left are heaps of debris^ new channels cut 
through the scrub and scattered water-holes. A rich crop of gmss springs up and 
for perhaps a few months the wilderness is habitable, hut sooner or later every- 
thing becomes as parched and dry as before. 

At Crown Point, whore we received much kindness from Mr. and Mrs. Ross, 
who live there in charge of the station, wo spelled for a few days, collecting, 
photographing, and spending some time amongst a camp of blacks. There were a 
considerable number of them camped on the opposite side of the river to oui'selves. 
The main camp was made up of a great number of smaller ones, the centre of each 
being, of course, a small fire. By way of habitation these blacks make at most a 
small wurley of branches, but as the weather was warm and fine they had not 
troubled to do this. Unlike those of many other parts of Australia, they never 
appear to make or wear any clothing, which is all the more strange as wallaby 
and kangaroos can often be caught, and the nights in winter are bitterly cold. 
The men tie a girdle, made from the hair of their mother-in-law, round the waist, 
and have their own well pulled back and usually cut away from the forehead, over 
which runs a band often made of opossum fur-string whitened with calcined 
gypsum. The hair behind is matted together with grease and red ochre and tied 
round with opossum fur string. Round the neck and arm may bo worn an aroilot 
or necklet, olso made of hair and smooth with grease and red ochre, and a " tig- 
lenf," often made of the white tips of the tails of the rabbit-bandicoot (Peragaie 
lagoHs) or of opossum for-strins, is worn as an ornament, whilst the septum of the 



nose is pjercod, and through the opening mode a. long piece of bone — perhaps a 
foot in length and with a Peragale tai)-tip stuck into one end — is often worn. 

Except for perhaps an armlet or necklet, the women have usually no orno- 
mente or dress. 

When preparing for a corrobboree they ornament themselves — that is, the men 
do, as the adornment of the body is almost entirely confined to the male sex — with 
patterns made by stripes and spots of white, red, yellow and pink. 

The tenn corrobboree is usually applied indiscriminately by white people to 
any one of the so-called dances of the aborigines ; but there are in realily at least 
two very distinct classes of corrobborees or, as they are called by the McDonnell 
blacks themselves, "quapara." One set may be called ordinary corrobborees, 
such as are held at any time, and which women and children may watch ; but in 
addition to these there is another and a very distinct aeries, which may be spoken 
of as sacred quapara, which no woman or child is permitted to see, aitd which 
are intimately connected with certain Totemic subdivisions of the tribe, members 
of which alone can take part in them, though members of others, provided they 
have undergone the ceremonies admitting them to manhood, are allowed to watch 
wholly or in part. Intimately associated with these are the sacred stones and 
sticks which have been referred to in the Anthropological section by Mr. Gillen 
and Dr. Stirling. The sacred nature of the implement resembling the toy 
commonly known as a "hull-roarer" is well known. It consists of a small 
flattened piece of wood, usually pointed at each end and with a hole bored through 
one to which a string can be fastened, the roaring or humming sound being made 
by the vibration of the latter when it is tightly stretched hy having one end 
hell in the hand while the bull-roarer attached to the other is rapidly whirled 

No woman or child is ever allowed to see one of these, and should one be 
caught sight of by accident and the fact be known to the men, the punishment in 
the natural condition of the aborigines would be death, or at least blinding by 
means of a fire-stick. These implements, which, according to Mr. Uillen, are 
known as "churiBa," are very highly prized and regarded as sacred. Stone ones are 
still more valuable and sacred than the wooden ones, which are usually spoken of 
as " Irula," the patterns on which are copied from the older stones, the history 
and origin of which are lost in the dim past. 

Each division of the tribe has a certain number of ChuriFin, which are stored 
up in spots known only to the elder men, or, if the locality of the store be known 



to the women, the !att«r are very careful, on penalty of severe punishmont, not to 
go anywhere near to them. Sometimes an elder man will carry about on his 
person, concealed from view, one of these Churifliv. It was evidently one of these 
stores the finding and contents of which have been described by Dr. Stirling in the 
Anthropo1(^ical section. 

The sacred ceremonies, or quapam, some of which no white man, unless, like 
Mr. GUIen, he has gained the most perfect confidence of the blacks, is allowed to 
see, and which are so jealously gnardcd that the ordinary white man living 
amongst the blacks would have no idea of their existence, arc, as before said, 
intimately associated with these Ghuriiia and with certain Totemic subdivisions of 
the four classes or phratries — Panunga, Pultharra, Pnrula, Kumarra — into which 
the Amnta Tribe is divided. 

Mr. Qillen has described two of these sacred quapara, which he found to be 
connected with certain members of the Fauunga and Pultharra phratries at Alice 
Springs, and the other with certain members of the Purula and Kumnrni phratries. 
The first of these is a ceremony the object of which is intimately associated with 
the promotion of the growth of the "witchetty" — that is, the grub of a large 
longicorn beetle, which forms a favourite food of the blacks; the other is a rain- or 
water-producing ceremony. 

The coupling of the four phratries into two pairs — Panunga and Pultharra on 
the one hand, and Kumarra and Purula on the ot.her— clearly points l>ack to an 
earlier time, when, aa in many Australian tribes, there were only two inter- 
marrying divisions. When four are present, as Messrs. Fison and Howitt* have 
said, we may "reasonably conclude tlint these four classes were formed by sub- 
dividing two primary classes, from the fact that they are composed of two pairs of 
non-intermarrying classes, each pair corresponding to one of the original classes 
and intermarrying with the other pair." Sometimes, as for example in the Mackay 
tribe,t the names for the two original divisions exist side by side with those of the 
four subdivisions into which they have split, but in the Arunta these two original 
names seem to have entirely disappeared. 

In certain tribes a further division of the four into eight groups takes 
place, and with it a consequent greater restriction in regard to the number of 
women from amongst whom the man's wife must come. 

The relationships, so far as marriage is concerned, of the phratries aniongst 
the Arunta tribe is clearly shown in the articles by Dr. Stirling and Mr. Gillon, 

* KcHallnrol and Kumal, p. S7. I Id., p. 38. 



nnd it will bo noted thut, in contrast to such tribes as the Urrapunna and 
Dieyrie, wlio inhabit country further south, descent is counted in the male and 
not in the female tine. 

When prepnring for an ordinary corrobboree a large quantity of grass down is 
collected and arrayed in little piles of various colours. The white is obtained by 
mixing it with powdered and calcined gypsum, the red with red ochre and the 
yellow with yellow ochre, while a pink colour is often also made by putting in less 
red or mixing the red and white together so that the down is just tinged. Once 
when wandering through the scrub at Tempe Downs I came across a party of some 
twelve men preparing for a corrobboree to be held in the evening. They were 
sitting down in a Email cleared space. First of all conical helmets were made out 
of Cassia twigs bound together with opossum fur-string so that the point was 
about two Feet or eighteen inches above the crown of the head on to which the 
broad end fitted tightly. Then they sat down in pairs, two men opposite to each 
other, with the requisite amount of coloured down in little heaps close at hand. 
Blood was drawn into the coDcavity of a spear thrower to serve, when congealed, 
OS a gum witli which to attach the down. As a general rule the blood is obtained 
by cutting a vein in the arm with a sharp flint or a piece of gloss if such can be 
secured, but in this instance it was all obtained by probing the sub-incised urethra 
with a sharp, pointed stick. 

Then each man took a short stick with a little opossum fur string twist«d 
round oue end so as to form a brush, dipped this into the blood and smeared it 
over the place to which he wished to attach the grass down on to the helmet, face 
or body of his friend sitting opposite to him. In some cases (as shown in the 
illustrations of the Anthropological section) the pattern thus formed is a very 
regular Eymmetrical one, in others it is asymmetrical. Very often the whole front 
of the helmet and the face, as far down as the mouth, is covered with a regular 
solid pattern of down which just leaves two circular patches in the centre of each 
of which is an eye. 

The pattern may be continued right on down the body and along the legs and 
arms and very frequently (depending of course upon the special corrobboree being 
enacted) the toilet will be completed by a tuft of eagle feathers waving from the 
apex of the helmet and, as in this particular instance, by anklets and armlets of 
little leafy twigs of the gum tree. 

Whilst this preparation b going on, and it may last for hours, a low humming 
of a corrobboree tune is kept up, though, every now and again they burst forth into 



a. londnr refrain and then graduall7 sink back into a subduod atid monotonous 
repetition of the notes as if the music were dying away in the distance. 

In the evening we saw the corrobboree performed for which these blacks were 
thus preparing, and one of the movements in which is represented in the phoU>- 
gmph repmluced in the Anthropological section. Sometimes the complete per- 
formance of Duch a corrobboree will extend over several evenings, reniinding one 
in this respect of the long drawn-out performances of the Chinese and Japanese. 

In the camp at Crown Point they were gathered together in little groups, 
men. ill one, women nnd children in another, the lire always the central point. 
Some of the nien were wnaving opossum hair string, others were making imple- 
ments of various kinds, and others grinding Munyeru. Tlie latter is the little 
black seed of Claytonia Baionnensis, and it is prepared by putting it on a large flat 
stone and then grinding it with another small flat stone held in the hands. Water 
is every now and then poured on, and the muddy looking mixture tumbles over 
the edge of the under stone into a receptacle and is then ready for eating, either 
raw or after roasting. Another favourite food is the bulb of an amaryllid plant 
called by the natives Irri-akttra.* This the women go out and gather in hundreds. 
The ground Munyera tastes as it looks, like black mud ; but the Irri-akflra is not 
at all bad and has a decidedly nutty flavour. 

As to weapons and implements, these are comparatively few in number and 
usually devoid of the elaborate finish and ornamentation characteristic of those 
belonging to the more northern blacks. A complete account of them is given in 
the Anthropological section, so that only those will be mentioned here such as every 
blackfellow carries about with him. 

The spears are of two kinds, barbed and unbarbed, the former usually made 
of at least two pieces carefully spliced together. The main shaft is often composed 
of Tecoma wood straightened by careful heating in the tire and by sulisequeut 
pressure. The point is made of hard Mulga, and to this a little recurved wooden 
barb is a[£xed by means of emu or kangaroo sinew. The unbarbed form may be 
of considerably greater length than the barbed one, and the rarer ones are made out 
of the desert oak (Casuarina Duaisneaita). Every man carries two or three spears 
and a spi-ar thrower or amcra t This is a liroul hollowed-out piece of wood, tapering 

• Thli |9Dv« to be Crprnti mutdui, having been deturtnlnsd from pluU gmwa by Dr. BUrllng trom bulbe 
brought down by bliiiKll to Adelaide, In other puti It li known m •' Nut^rus." 

t nie word "^'ODunera," so common Ln vuious other parte of AustnULa, it not appltud to the Himr-tlirowtr In 
(he nntml dlatriotii. 



gradually towards tlie end whidi is held, and abruptly towards the opposite end 
wliere a little woodea point is attached by tendon. The other extremity lias a 
round knob of resinous material obtained from the porcupine gross, and into it a 
roughly sharpened flint is often attached and used for cutting purposes— as for 
example to trim down the rough surfaces ot a spear, or to cut open the body of a 

Boomerangs of various sizes are made ; the larger ones are very heavy and 
simply used for fighting at close quarters, the sutaller, flatter ones are thrown, but 
they do not appear to have any bo mode that they can return to the thrower. 
Shields are mode out of liglit wood such as that of the Bean tree (Erytbrina); 
they are perhaps two feet six inches in length, very thick, with a strongly convex 
outer side and a slightly concave inner one, iu the middle of which a cavity is 
made leaving a bar, running across in the direction of the length of the shield, 
which can be grasped by the hand. As the Bean tree does not grow so far south 
00 this, these shields have to be traded from one part to another. 

The women are usually provided with pitchis, which are receptacles hollowc<l 
out of wood and used for carrying food such as grass seeds or Irri-akura bulbs. 
They vary considerably in size and form, and some are made out of light wood like 
that of the Beau tree, and others out of hcsavier wood such as Mulga. 

Amongst the women and lubras were one or two in deep mourning, which was 
indicated by the fact that the hair ringlets wore stiff with white gypsum, whihjt a 
band of the same was plastered over the bridge of the nose and on the cheeks and 

These natives belong to the Arunta tribe, which occupies a Lirge tract of land 
stretching from the Macuinba Creek in tlie south to about seventy miles north 
of Alice Springs. Westwards it extends to Hermannsburg, and its eastward 
extension is not completely known. At Alice Springs it spreads out for about a 
hundred miles to the east of the telegraph line. Very often the men used to 
describe themselves as Larapinta blacks, from the native name uf the Fiuke Htver, 
which drains a considerable part of the country which they occupy. 

Many of the men were well built, though, as usual, the legs were rhe weak point. 
The tallest one measured by Dr. Stirling was 5 feet 9J inches in height, and tlie 
average of ten of them was just under 5 feet G inches. The women are decidedly 
shorter, the average of ten of them being only 5 feet 0| inches. The men, with 
their long, flowing beards and hair cut off their foreheads and the rest tied bock 
with ft white band, often lixiked very patriarchal, an appearance frequently 



enhanced by tlieir dignified bearing, though at times the presence of a bone 
perhaps a Foot in length stuck through a hole in the nasal septum and ornamented 
at one end with a Ferag&le tail, detracted, to a certain extcut, from tlie digiiilied 
appearance of the wearer. So long as food is plentiful they are perfectly happy 
and contented, their disposition being just like that of ligbt-hearted children who 
have no idea of anything beyond the enjoyment of the present moment. 

As usual, the harder work is done by the women, who have, in addition to 
looking after the children, to go out in search of animals such as lizards and of the 
grass seeds and bulbs, which form staple articles of food, the men procuring the 
larger animals, such as wallabies and occasionally kangaroos and emus. To their 
children they are vury indulgent, the young boys being especially well treated, 
though In occasional tits of anger acts of cruelty may be performed. Anything 
given to them is at once shared with other membei's of the camp. If you give a 
black, say, a woollen shirt you will find him wearing it one day, his wife will lie 
adorned with it the next time you meet her and perhaps some friend will )>e 
wearing it the day after. At the same time, they have a distinct idea of private 
property. In camp, for example, eac^h man will have his own belongings and 
such as he is not .carrying about with him will be left close to his lire quite 
unprotected, in the certain knowledge that, so far as his fellow blacks are 
concerned, they will not be interfered with. At the same time, it is quite 
recognised Ihat if you possess, say, a spear, and a friend asks you for the loan of 
it, you are in duty bound to lend it. Everything has its special owner, though he 
may be very many miles away. Whilst a man will part with his own property 
he will not do so with that of anyone else when this has been lent to him. I once 
oven had considerable difficulty iu pei'suading a man to part with a tuft of 
Peragale tail-tips which belonged to his wife and on more than one occasion I 
could not secure things because they bad been tent to the possessor. 

The question of the possession of land is a more difficult one. There is, of 
course, no doubt that they have no idea whatever of any tract of country lui 
belonging to ruiy individual ; but, on the other hand, they have a very distinct 
idea that certain tracts of land, and the right to inhabit and hunt over them, 
belong to particular groups. Within the limits of the Arunta tribe, for example, 
there are subdivisions occupying well-defined districts. A man belonging to the 
Arunta at Alice Springs coming down south to Charlotte Waters, for example, is 
regarded as a guest and as such is allowed certain privileges. Thus not only have 
the tribes such as the Arunta, lands which are regarded as belonging to them, 
but there are divisions of the tribes which in the same way are regarded definitely 
as owning special tracts of country, the boundaries of which are well defined. 



WhiUt lit Grown Point a. consitl<!rable miiuunt of collecting wus done. 
Amongst tlio sandhills behind the camp were numerous lizards such as the 
stmnge Moloch horridus, the briglit yellow, orange, red and black of which render 
it in life very different in appearance from the bleached specimens of muiieum 
cftses. The Jew lizard {Amfhido/urus barbatus) was often seen, some of tliem 
being of a curious brick red colour similar to that of many of the sandhills 
amongst which they lived There are perhaps no aninjals, amongst land forms, of 
which museum specimens give so poor an idea, so far as colour and shape of the 
body are concerned, as frogs and lizards. Both in brilliant, and often also in 
delicate colouration, many of the Central Australian ones cannot be excelled. A 
rererence to the plates iltnstratiug the artiute on lizards in the zoological section 
of the work, where the natural colours have Ijeen most carefully represented by 
Mr. Wendel, will serve to show how inadequate an idea the ordinary museum 
Bpeciuien conveys of the real appearance of the living animal. 

It was not the right time of the year to secure many butterflies and moths, 
but two species were very common everywhere. One was the Australian "painted 
lady" {Pyrameis cardui, var. kerskatvU), which has been described by Sir Frederick 
McCoy as specilically distinct from its close ally, the European form {Pyrameis 
cardui). Other writers, however, such as Kirby,* regard the European and 
Australasian forms as "hardly to be considered distinct" The chief distinction, 
apart from size, between the two lies in the fact that the three black spots on the 
hind wing have blue centres in the Australasian species. 

The other is an introduced form Danais petilia a pretty black and yellow 
insect, feeding on a Labiate plant {Cynanchum floribunditm). In other parts of 
Australia such as Queensland, another species of the same genus (Diinais erripus), 
also introduced, is met with Feeding upon an introduced Labiate plant 

The burrows of a scorpion were very common, and it« tracks leading into a 
hole in the sand just big enough for it to crawl into were very well marked ones 
and easily recognisable when once the blacks hod told you what animal they were 
mode by, for it was never seen during daytime in tlie open. The burrow goes 
down to a depth of three or four feet. We very rarely found the animal under 
stones or logs as, unlike those met with in the coastal districts such as Gippsland, 
they seem to generally moke burrows in the sandy ground. In the bed of the 
Finke during summer time I found tliem crawling about at night on our camping 

■ Huidbook ol tbe older LejjldopUn, Put 1., ButteiBlu, vol I., AIIod'h Natunllata' Llhncy, ISM. |>. 09. 



Ill the tiuiiU by tlit: rivur bunk, a, foot or two below the surface, was u 
beuutiful little bkck and oran)^ banded snaVe (ycrmicella annxtlaUi) some six or 
eight inches long of which, for some reason, the blacks were very frightened. It 
does not however do to tniat itriplicity to the natural history instincts of the 
nutivos. One day at Charlotte Waters, during my second visit, they brought in a 
specimen of what was evidently either th« " deaf-adder " {Acanthophis an/arclim) 
or another species of the same genus. It was longer and thinner in the body and 
more brightly coloured than the usual specimens, but had the same general 
appearance, and the little spine at the tail end which ie distinctive of the 
"deaf-adder" — the most venomous of our Australian snakes. Despite this, they 
were positive that it was a non-venomous snake and handled it in a way in which 
they i^uld not do even a Iloplocephalus. I questioned two or three of them about 
it but they would not alter their opinion, and yet it turned out on examination to 
be a true Acanthopls aniarctica. 

Right in the gaud of the river-bed were every now and then the tracks of a 
frog. As the sand on the surface was very hot and dry I was a good deal surprised 
to see these, but, of course, the blacks knew all about them, and after following up 
the tracks of one for a few yards they came to an end at a spot where there was n 
little depression as if on animal had burrowed down and the soft sand had been 
pressed up on either side and had then slightly tumbled in towards the centre 
as the animal went down. A foot or so l>eneath the surface it was cool and 
slightly moist and here we cnnie upon the frog (Limnodynastes orttatus). Its body 
is about two inches in length, the ground colour being a silvery grey with splotches 
varying in colour from dark grey to umber. There is always [ireaent a light lyre 
shaped patch on the hinder part of the head, the two arms of the lyre stretching 
forward one on to each eyelid. On the upper surface of the body and limbs are 
little dots of salmon-pink colour surrounded by small dark circles. Sometimes the 
dark inarkitigs are so indistinct that the whole body has a silver grey appearance 
hut the pattern, however feebly indicated, is always one which can be derived from 
u well-marked, dark specimen. 

The hind foot is strongly webbed and has the shovel-shaped tubercle which is 
so characteristic of burrowing frogs. Somettmee the body is to a certain extent 
swollen out with water which can be pressed out through the cloaca ; hut this is 
nothing like so striking a feature as in the case of the clay-pan or water-holding 
frog previously described {Chiroleples platycepkalus). 

The stomach contained beetles which had evidently l>een caught on the sand, 
the animal emerging from its hiding place during the night when everything is 



cool. It then liups uliout in search of food, und at the approach uf duy burrows 
down into Uie cool dauip saiiU below the surfuce. 

There are thus two types of burrowing frogB iu Central Australia— one the 
cluy-pan frog, forming a permanent burrow ; the other, the river-bed frog, forming 
temporary burro wb. 

The same species ns tiie latter is found in Queenslanil ni») New South Wuli's, 
but so far as is yet known, it lias only adopted tliis burrowing habit in Central 
AustnUia and with that way be associated lie strongly webbed feet whicli are 
very unlike the typiual examples of the genus to which it belongis. 

On May 19th, we started from Crown Point and left the telegraph line to tlio 
East uf us. It was luorc than two months before we struck it again near t«> Alice 

Travelling West through the usual scrubby country we reached the Lilla 
Creek which flows into the Fiiike from the desolate barren country out to thu 
West. After reaching camp close to the Lilla Greek we were surprised to see our 
black boy Harry who had gone out with Messrs. Wiimecke nnd Watt. He huil 
ridden across country to try und intercept ua with a note saying that the two latter 
hod changed their plans and would niect us on the Fiuke, near to a place when', 
hemmed in by a semicircular escarpment of high sandstone cliffs, it sweeps round 
what is known, from its shape, as the Horse Shoo Bend, and to the blacks as 
Engoordina. This necessitated a slight change in our plans as we had arranged to 
meet higher up the Lilla, and so crossing the latter instead of following it up 
westwards, we struck the Finke close to Mount Musgrave, a curious pyramidal 
peak rising from bare stony plains. 

We found that Messrs. Winnecke and Watt had tirst followed up the Goyder 
for some distance finding no water. Then they had struck across north-west into 
some hilb to which the name of Horn Kange was given, and then crossing the 
Lilla Creek which was, like the Goyder, perfectly dry, tbey hod travelled north- 
wards to the Finke. On a hill lying some forty-five miles north-west of tlio 
junction of the Lilla and Fiuke they had found a Silurian formation containing 
fossils— a find of some importance as this lies a considerable distance to the south 
of the previously known Silurian formation of the James Range, from which it is 
separated by a wide tract of Desert Sandstone country. 

From Engoordina we travelled north-west across country so as to reach Idru- 
cowra, the course of the Finke here forming two sides of a triangle of which our 
track formed the third and south-western side. 



The couiilry wjis souictimea slightly unduUting \vith rtddish sandy soil 
covered with scrub, nt others it rose to bare stony plains on which gi'ew perhaps a 
few stunted Mulgus and low l)luG-whito salt-bushes. 

All along the creeks were the usual red gums in the sand bed, and on the 
banks iiiid then beyond these was a fringe, varying in width, of swamp gums or 

box trees {Eucalyptus micruihscii). Everywhere iilong our route from Oodnadutta 
in the south to Alice Springs in the north, these swamp gums especially were 
infested by a particular kind of catoipillar. Tliey live socially in big, bag-like 
cases attached to the branches, one of which is represented in the accompanying 
illustration. A single case will sometimes uieasure as much as two feet in length, 
and will contain perhaps a hundred or niore catorpillars whose excrement niijced 
with hair from their bodies tills the case and is of the most irritating nature if 
it falls on the skin. They are most frequent on the swamp gums — they hardly 
touch the red gums at all — but are also found on Acacias and Cassias. On one 
Acaci»^(,^. salidna) I counted no fewer than fifty-seven of various sizes. From the 
case a track of web-like material can sometimes be seen running down the trunk 
to the ground. This calls to mind the ladder-like track mode by the caterpillar of 
such a case-moth as Metura elongata. When the caterpillar of the lattor climbs a 
wall or tree trunk it lays down a series of lines of web which are arranged one 
above the other just like the rungs of a ladder, and to which while climbing it 


HORN EKPEnmoN — narrative.. 45 

clings with the claw-like tips of its feet. The trnck must be made by the cater- 
pillars who come out of the case to feed and are said to walk about in long proces- 
sions. Finally, after stripping the trees of their leaves (in August when we 
returned scarcely a leaf was to lie seen on the trees on wliich the enipty, broken 
cases were swinging about before the wind) they all come out of the case and 
burrow into the ground and there chrysalate. Unfortunately we had no means of 
determining the insect to which the caterpillar belongs. '^ Travelling over the same 
ground six months later, the trees were all once more green, and there was not a 
trace of the cases to be seen. 

Many caterpillars live in colonies, and some spin a web inclosing leaves and 
twigs and so forming a nest or case for themselves, but in this instance the leaves 
are not utilised, and the big bag hangs in the most prominent position, attached 
usually to the smaller twigs at the ends of the gum tree branches. Nothing will 
interfere with them owing to the exceedingly irritating nature of the excreta 
which they contain, and the blacks believe that if this falls on your face you are 
sure to be blinded. Serious results are known to have followed the tumbling 
down of a case on to a white man sleeping under the gum tree from which it fell. 

The web is strong but nothing like so tough as that of the two or three kinds 
of " case-moths " fonnd in the scrub. In each of these, which is a small often 
tubular bag one or two inches in length, there lives only a single caterpillar. 
The latter carries its case about with it while it feeds, and finally turns into the 
chrysalis inside it, the male moth comes out at the lower end but the female is said 
never to leave it,t never in fact developing any but the most rudimentary wings 
and appendages. There are thus several distinct kinds of protective cases or 
houses made by caterpillars, some of which are concerned with single caterpillars, 
and others with social ones. The simplest is the irregular webbing which serves to 
fold over the edge of a leaf, and which is made by, and incloses only, a single larva. 
There are gradations in structure between this, and the most highly developed 
form of house mode by a single animal such as the common case-moth (Afetura 

Of cases inhabited by more than one larva the simpler are again made by 
enclosing with web, more or less regularly, leaves and twigs, whilst the most highly 
developed is perhaps this large bag-cose found in Central Australia, which may 
serve as the hiding place for more than a hundred caterpillars. These coses or 
houses must not be confused with the true cocoons that is the structures made by 

■ It !■ probably a ipecLu of the ircnua Tbatl t Thero Is some doubt about this. 



Uie cftterpillftr just when U begins to chrysalate, and in which the chrysalis lies. 
As we have seen the social Central Australian caterpiltars cotne out ot their 
common case, each one goes into the ground and there chiysalates. In the case 
of Metum the house is used first by the caterpillar, and subsequently by the 
chrysalis, but even here it is not to be regarded as equivalent to, or even taking 
the place of, the cocoon, as the larva when passing into the chrysalis stage makes a 
rough kind of cocoon for itself inside the outer case. The latter, in fact, may 
always be regarded as a structure connected with the larva or caterpillar stage, 
and the cocoon as simply connected with the pupa or chrysalis stage. 

The scrub over all this part of the country was characteristic of the general 
scrub of the steppes in the Finke basin south of the ranges — that is one which b 
formed of a mixture of various kinds of plants, and not made up mainly of one 
kind as in the case of Giddea, Mulga or Mallee scrub. 

Amongst the shrube and trees four genera were dominant — Eucalypts, Acacias, 
Cassias, and Eremophilaa. 

Tlie Eucalypts away from the river beds are usually of the species known as 
mallee gums — with no tall oentml stem, but with a number of thin branches 
springing from a stent which projects, at most, for only a short distance above the 
ground. They grow in patches, but are nothing like so plentiful in this as in other 
parts of Australia, where dense mallee scrub will stretch monotonously over mile 
after mile of country. 

The Acacias vary in size from a few feet to twenty or thirty in height ; as a 
general rule they have thin harsh petioles serving as leaves; their general tint as 
in the case of the Mulga is a dull depressing olive green, though at times, Acacia 
salicina will grow into a tree with denser and greener foliage, sometimes hanging 
gracefully down as if it were a weeping willow. This is really the most attractive 
tree in the scrub, and often the only one beneath which any shade can be obtained 
when the sun is shining in a brilliant cloudless sky, and the strong light is reflected 
from the hard yellow ground. 

The Cassias only grow into good sized shrubs, perhaps at most, six or eight 
feet high. Their leaves as a general rule are thin and their branches straight and 
wiry, but stil! they often form green patches which, covered with masses of yellow 
blossom, BCi*ve to brighten the dull scrub. 

Often for miles together the greater number of the Cassias are dead, and their 
thin wiry branches all springing together from a short stem close above the ground 



curve over until they meet each otht^r at the top, and look ns if they hiul been 
purposely tied up into a bundle swelling out in the middle. 

The Eremophila^ as a general rule form smaller shrubs than the Cassias, tlieir 
leaves are nothing like so wiry, and their branches are not so straight, so that they 
are thicker and niore bushy in appearance. 

All the Cossiu flowers seem to bo yellow, but the tubular corollas of the 
Eremophilns are of various tints, blue, pink, purple, white or yellowish, with dark 
red spots. 

In addition there are, every now and then, patches of rugged stemmed Hakeas 
with stiff spike.Hko leaves, or of Grevillens — the "silky-oaks" with their grey- white 
foliage. Now and again is a Codonocarpus, the " nulivo poplar" with light green 
leathery leaves, or a big, bright green bush of Dodoneji with shining viscid leaves, 
or a stiff* broom-like Templetonia. 

Many of the trees — Acacias, Eucalypts, Grevilleas — are studded with clumps 
of Loranthus — tlie Australian Mistletoe, with green, rod or yellowish flowers and 
white or red berries. Occasionally a single Acacia wHI have more* than one species 
growing on it, but on the other hand some species will be found conRned principally 
to one tree as for exitmple Loranthus gibberulm to the Grevilleas. 

The ground is hard, yellow and sandy with tufts of withered grass. Now and 
again it is brightened with a patch of "everlastings" — yellow Helichrysums or 
beautiful white, purple and pink Ptilotus in full flower — but as a general rule the 
sharp shadows of the thin scrub fall only on bare ground studded with endless little 
ant hills. 

Such is the general character of the scrub through which we travelled day 
after day, at times passing along flats by the creek beds where the vegetation was 
a little less parched up than usual, or rising on to upland plains with salt-bush, 
and great spherical masses of Salsola, which, when withered up, are easily torn 
from their roots and are carried away, bounding like yellow balls before the strong 
south east winds which prevail during the winter montlis. This salsolnceous 
vegetation is very characteristic of the stony and loamy plains of the Lower 
Steppes, lying between Oodnodatta on the south, and the Finke at Tdracowra on 
the north ; in this district there is only a very little Porcupine grass (Triodia sp.) 
to be seen ; but, further north again, in the Higher Steppes, this becomes a 
dominant feature of the dry sandy flats and often of the hill sides extending right 
to the top of the highest peaks such as Mount Sender. 



As we carac near to the Finke at Idracowra, nnd stood on the edge of the 
highland, bounding its hroad valley on the south, we could see away to the north 
the track of the river indicated by its thick fringe of gum trees, and, I)eyond this 
again, over the rolling sandhills, Chambers Pillar stood out clearly against tlie sky. 

Passing down into the broad open valley we camped beside a water-pool 
containing plenty of tish, and here we spelled for a day to allow some of us to go 
on and photograph Chambers Pillar which forms one of the most prominent land 
marks in this part of Central Australia. 

We hi^ now travelled over a distance of nearly two hundred and fifty miles 
from the head of the ruilway at Oodnadatta, and, at this point, Mr. Horn was 
unfortunat«ly obliged to leave the party and retrace his steps to Crown Point to 
meet there the overland mail which, once in every six weeks, runs between Alice 
Springs and Oodnadatta. 

The evening was spent in discussing and settling upon plans for our future 
movements, and a rough outline of these was drawn up. If possible it was decided 
that we should make for the following points in succession, Henbury, Running 
Wat«rs on the Finkc, Illamurta in the James Kange, Petermann Creek, Tempe 
Downs, the Levi and George Gill Range ; from the latter a party was, if possible, 
to go down south across Lake Amadeus to Ayers Rock, whilst the main camel 
team went north to Haast's Bluff at the western end of the McDonnells. The two 
divisions were then to meet at Mount Sonder, from which a detour was to be made 
south to Hermnnnsburg on the Finke, close to the Glen of Palms. Then passing 
northwards again the main McDonnell Range was to be struck about the neigh- 
bourhood of Paisley DIufT, and thence travelling eastward the whole party would 
reach Alice Springs. Tlie actual route was to be determined upon by the four 
membei-s of the science staff, and upon Mr. Winnecke developed the responsibility 
of carrying out the wishes of the scientiSc st^iff so far as he judged them to be 
consistent with the safety of the Expedition. 

Leaving the loading camels to enjoy a well-earned day's rest amongst feed and 
water, four of us took our riding camels on and went northwards for ten miles 
over the sandhills to Chambers Pillar. These sandhills vary in height from 
twenty to forty feet, and run in long rolling lines from north east to south west 
Each has a sloping southerly and a steep northerly side indicating the long preva- 
lence of the strong south-easterly winds. On the south side the thin scrub covers 
them, but on the north each has a long bare line of bright red or yellow sand just 
where the slope is steepest, and no vegetation can grow. From the top of each one 





AS w<! monnted th»m in succession — for, unfortun&t«ly, our courso Iny nearly At 
right angles to their length — we conld ace the Pillar standing out ngniast the sky 
above the hills which looked like great waves of sand piled up one behind the other. 

We had now amongst these sandhills come into the region of the " Desert 
Oak" {Cnsuarina Decaisneana). Some of them remsh a height of forty or fifty feet, 
and, growing either singly or in clumps, form a striking feature amongst the thin 
sparse scrul) (see Plate 4). Evidently a shower of rain must have fallen recently, 
as there were more flowers about than usual. The shrubs of EremophilAS, Acacias 
and Cussias were bright with purple and yellow flowers, and on the ground were 
exceptionally fine white, pink and purple blossoms of Ptilotus, and patches of white 
and yellow Helichrysum picked out with the little blue flowers of Brunonia. 

The "Desert Oaks " with their pendant, wiry twigs, which take the place of 
leaves, have a strangely weird appearance. The older trees, as shown in the illus- 
trntion, have a main trunk with a rough bark rising to a height of perhaps twenty 
or even thirty feet at which point a large number of strongly developed branches 
ai-e given otT. The younger ones resemble nothing so much as large funeral plumes. 
Their outlines seen under a blazing sun are indistinct, and they give to the whole 
scene a curious effect of being "out of focus." 

Some idea of the size and extent of the sandhills may be gained from the fact 
that in nine miles traverse we were continuously passing up the gradual southern 
slope and down the steep northern face, then across a short level flat on to the 
slope of another, and that in this distance we crossed some thirty-five. 

At length we came Uy a small level stretch of land from which the pillar rises. 
It has the form of a tall column placed on a broad pedestal. The latter lias a 
circumference of about five hundred yards, and a height of one hundred feet, 
the column itself is nearly seventy feet high, and is roughly oblong in section, 
one side measuring about twenty-five, and tho other about fifteen yards in length. 

The whole is composed of a friable sandstone capped with a layer of the same 
chalcedonized sandstone which forms the thin uppermost layer of all the flat- 
topped, Desert Sandstone hills, and has been the means of protecting the softer 
rock beneath. At one time the whole of the country must have been at the level 
of the top of the pillar ; now all save this solitary column and a few remarkable 
turret^like peaks, forming what is called Castle Hill, a short distance away to the 
north, has been worn away, and the pillar stands solitary amongst the sandhills 
(Plate G). 



In colour it is a pale cream-yellow, except just tlie uppci- part wliere the 
oxidation of iron contained in the rock has tinted it bright red, and standing out 
against the blue sky above the yellow sandhills and dull greon scrub it forms a 
striking feature in the otherwise monotonous landscape. 

The blacks have a rather curious myth* to account for the origin of the pillar. 
They say that in what they call the Alcheringn (or as Mr. Gillen appropriately 
renders it the "dream times"), n certain noted warrior journeyed to the cast and 
killing with his big stone knife all the men, he seized the women and brought 
them back with him to his own country. Camping for the night on this spot lie 
and the women were transformed into stone, and it is his body which now forms 
the pillar, whilst the women were fashioned into the fantastic peaks grouped 
together to form what is now known as Oastle Hill, a mile away to the north 
(Plate 4). 

After photc^raphing we returned late in the evening to our camp by the 
Finke, ready to start away in the morning to follow up the river as it came down 
from the James Range in the north-west. 

Close to our camp there was a fair sized water-hole in the sandy bed of the 
river in which we secured a few fish. The water apparently remained here owing 
to the deposition of a thin layer of clayey material on the sand which prevented it 
from sinking in as it hod done elsewhere, and the lish were simply existing until, 
in a very short time, they must perish when the water dried up. Along the course 
of the Finke as it meanders over the country between the James llange and its 
termination somewhere amongst the sandhills to the north of lako Eyre — for only 
in exceptionally wet seasons can its waters reach the lake — water-holee are met 
with at intervals, but very few indeed, if any of them, can l)e regarded as 
permanent, and they only last for a varying length of time after the rain season. 

When there is a heavy rainfall then the floods come down the channels and, 
in favourable spots, the water will lie on the surface while elsewhere it sinks down 
into the sandy bed. The gathering ground lies far away amongst the ranges up 
country so that not infrequently a flood will occur at Crown Point or Idracowra 
without there having been any rain in these part«, and when the water does come 
down the river channels it does so with great force and suddenness. But littln 
warning is given of its approach, though, at times, the blacks send on the news of 
an approaching flood so that especially during the rainy months up country, that 
is in summer time, it is not really safe to camp in the sandy bod of a river however 

■ t UQ Indeblwl to Ht. F. 1. Oillcn tor Uila inloniutian. 



dry it is and may have bf«n jw^rhaps for months Ix-fore. B<*tore tlie tnnrning comfts 
the formerly dry chnnnol may contftin a roaring torrent bearing uprooted trees and 
shrubs nlonj; with it and spreading out far aad widft over imj low lyinf; flats, and 
your baggage and impMlimenta may be miles away down stream. 

The falling of the waters is almost as rapid as the rising ; as soon as the ntin 
ceases in the gathering ground the torrents from the rocks and hard soil dwindle 
and dwindle until they disappear. The overflow level of the rock pools amongst 
the ranges is soon reached for there are no springs yielding a constant, supply from 
waters which have been stored up amongst the rocks. At most any small supply 
of water oozing out of tlicm serves only to balance the loss of evaporation so that 
there is no surface flow. Very rapidly, when once the supply from the high lands 
ceases, the water drains off, a large part fortunately sinking down into the sand 
where at some depth below the surface it slowly finds its way along. Where the 
scour has been the strongest and has washed out the sand, there for a longer or 
shorter period water will stand, prevented from sinkng into the sand by a thin 
coating of the finer mud which, when the water is of some little depth and stands 
quietly for a short time, will fall down and give rise to a thin rather clayey film on 
the surface which will help to keep the water from sinking. Fortunately the 
conditions are favourable to the formation of this impermeable film. When the 
waters are at their highest the holes are scoured out in the sand ; as they fivll and 
begin to flow along sluggishly first of all the heavier sand particles are dropped, 
lastly there remain only the finer mud particles with which the water, now forming 
only a thin surface layer, is heavily charged. As the surface layer flows over and 
into the deeper pools, it brings into them a constant supply of fine mud until 
gradually the flow ceases and t))e mud settles at the bottom and by its means a 
supply of water is retained. 

Amongst other things, the flood brings with it fishes from the more permanent 
sheltered pools amongst the ranges, and they survive as long as the water lasts. 
Nowhere in the central region is there any evidence of the fishes having adapted 
the habit of the African mud-Gsh (Protopterus) to enable them te withstand a dry 
period. There is indeed no Australian fish which can, so far as we yet know, exist 
if the waters be dried np, and in the central region the reason for this is not far 
to seek. The river beds are sandy and after digging down for some thirty feet no 
material is met with out of which anything like a mud case could be mode. 

Where the burrowing frogs are found by the side of water-holes and clay-pans 
on the stony table-lands further south, no fish are met with. They could only 
reach these water-holes in the form of eggs carried by birds, and long before they 



could have developed, in most cases, the water is dried up, In addition to this 
they would, if they were to survive, have to acquire the liabit of burrowing down 
to a considerable depth, else (unless tike the frc^ they absorbed a suSicii-nt supply 
of water within their body) they would simply be desiccated. 

The only water-holes not in tlie course of river channels in which, so far as at 
present known, fish exist are the permanent ones associated witli mound springs 
and artesian wells. In the warm waters of one of the Dalhousie mound springs, 
which unfortunately we did not have the chance of visiting, tish are found tliough 
the species is not yet determined, and in the pools around the opening of the 
artesian bore at botli Coward and Strangway's Springs, the water in the case of 
the former being only a few inches deep, is found a small Gobius (G. eremius), 
which is at present known to exist only in those two artificial water-pools. In the 
case of the bore at Coward Springs the water issues at a tempei'ature of 95° F. 
There can be little doubt but that these two water-pools have been stocked with 
tish by means of eggs brought to them attached to the feet or feathers of some of 
the numerous birds which, immediately after the rainy season, appear in numbers 
and fly about from one water-hole to another ; but where they wore brought from 
is unknown as the species is not yet recorded as occurring in any natural water- 
pool, r 

Our camping place, Idracowra, was interesting because it was from this 
locality that a few years before Mr. Bishop had obtained for Dr. Stirling the 
larger number of specimens of that interesting marsupial Notoryctes typhlops. It 
was too dry during the time which we spent in the district to obtain specimens of 
the animal except one solitary one which, through the kindness of Mr. Ross of 
Crown Point, was secured by a black boy and brought alive into camp but it soon 
died, and there is apparently very little hope of their ever being brought down 
alive from the central region. 

Since the return of the Expedition, Mr. Byrne has secured in the neighbour- 
hood of Charlotte Waters, a considerable number, some of the more interesting 
points in connection with which are dealt with in the section of the work dealing 
with the zoological results. They live in the sandhill districts, and though not 
easy to capture owing to thoir power of rapid burrowing, still they are not perhaps 
quite so rare as it was at one time thought they were. During the past season 
which has evidently been a favourable one, between forty and fifty have been 
captured within a radius of thirty niiles of Charlotte Waters. The blacks say that 
they can catch them best when there has been a fall of rain, as then thoir tracks 
are more distinct. They do not make a permanent run like a ntolc does, for the 



obviouB reason tbat the loose snnd near the surface simplj falls in and obliterates 
the burrow as the animal passes along, so that it is necessary to be able to foHow 
their tracks on tlie surface, and this the blacks always tell you that they can only 
do after rain. It must be confessed that this is not an altogether satisfactory 
explanation, but it is one always given by the blacks. The latter will follow any 
track up on dry or wet sand, and there can be no di£Bculty whatever in their 
detecting the track of a Notoryctes however dry the sand Is. I fancy that the real 
explanation lies in the fact that the blacks catch the beast un the surface when 
they happen, by chance, to come across it, and that, for some reason, it is must 
frequently seen on the surface shortly after rain. 

It is a curious feature about Notoryctes that though absolutely blind still 
it normally spends a part of its time on the surface, and the complete loss of eyes 
externally is, no doubt, to be associate*! with the fact that it is constautly 
burrowing in loose and often hot sand, the grains of which would, if it had eyes, 
be a fruitful source of irritation. 

The affinities of Notoryctes to other forms of marsupials are somewhat obscure, 
but they evidently lie with the Dasyuridte rather than with any other family. 

It is somewhat difficult to understand the remarkable modification evidently 
undergone by Notoryctes, whereby it has become adapted to its present mode of 
life. The modification in regard, for example, to its complete loss of eyes on the 
surface, and its shovel-shaped feet are evidently correlated, not only with its 
burrowing habits, but wiih the fact that it burrows in soft, loose, sandy country. 
If this modification to adapt it to a burrowing habit has taken place during the 
period (since Pliocene times) in which the central area of the continent has assumed 
its present desiccated condition, then it is somewhat difficult to understand how 
this one form has become so much modified in the time which has only served to 
produce slight modifications amongst members of other families, such as the 
Dasyuridte. On the other hand, and this is perhaps the most probable state of 
the case, Notoryctes may be the one (as far as yet known) surviving representative 
of a once more widely dispersed burrowing and mole-like marsupial, which, for 
some reason, has been left stranded in the centra! region and has elsewhere dis- 
appeared. It is not difficult to understand how Notoryctes — at the best an animal 
of rare occurrence and inhabiting only districts which are comparatively inacces- 
sible and not yet by any means thoroughly explore<.l, zoologically — remained for so 
many years unknown, until by a happy chance it was sent down to the South 
Australian Museum, and its existence made known by Dr. Stirling. There, 
perhaps, yet remains to be discovered in the remoter parts of the continent some 



allied burrowing marsupiaJ, or possibly searcli amongst Tertiary rocks, may load to 
the discovery of allied extinct forms. 

After leaving Idracowra wo travelled westwurds, crussing and I'ecrussinij; the 
bed of the Finke alt day long as it meandtired ubuut, until at night we camped not 
far from the Julmston llange, which forms a Ixtld escarpment of red sandstone with 
tJie usanl level capping of Desert Sandstone. 

Here we picked up a young black boy, who went on with us clothed with a 
tliin hair girdle round bis waist and a head-band. Of all the black boys with 
whom we met, this youth was perhaps the most loquacious and anxious to impart 
information. Having been recently admitted to the privileges of manhood, there 
was little he did not profess to know with regard to the habits and customs of his 
tribe, but as such knowledge is only to be gained from the elders, his information, 
all the niore freely volunteered because it was the result of, for a blockfellow, a 
somewhat vivid inn^nation, was accepted with considerable reservations. 

Crossing the junction of the Palmer and Fiuke, we reached the outlying 
station of Henbnry, and were most kindly received by Messrs. Parka. The 
station lies by the side of a deep water-hole in the Pinke, where a bar of rock 
crosses the stream and so has caused the formation of a deep pool which is full of 
water and in which, by means of a net, we caught hundreds of specimens of a fish 
which is known locally as the " bony bream." It is the commonest fish along the 
river, and proves to be a new species which has been described by Mr. Zietz under 
the name of Chaioessus horni. It has much the general appearance of a br«am, with 
bright silvery scales and somewhat fiattened body. The largest specimen secured 
weighed upwards of a pound, but after cooking them we found that the name 
" bony " was most suitable, and though it is the most abundant of all the Finke 
dshcs, it is not really of much use as food when anything else is obtainable. 

At the time of our visit there was a splendid supply of water in the deep 
pool, but yet even such an ^parently permanent water-hole as the Henbnry one 
a liable to be destroyed by a moderate rainfall, which will fill the river and so, 
bring down sand enough to fill the pool. So long as a real flood of water comes 
down the bed of the river, tlie band of rock causes a sufficient scouring out to 
ensure the formation of a deep pool behind the rock, but if only a moderate 
amount of wat«r conies down tlie river, then the rock may simply act as a barrier 
behind which the sand grains may accumulate and fill up what is now a deep pool, 
in which case the water will disappear from the surface and find its way round, 
underground, at some spot where the rock lies lower beneath the surface. 



Furtunately the rain appears to fall in sufficient quantity to always scour out 
tliis pool in front of the rocky barrier. 

Uenbury, where we spelled for a day, lies not far from the northern limit of 
the Great Cretaceous Plain fonning the Lower Steppes over which we had been 
travelling. At Lake Eyre, close to our starting point, the land wao actually below 
the Bea level, but here we were one thousand feet above it and were cloee to the 
ancient Silurian or Ordovician mountain ranges around the base of which, much 
higher and more imposing then than they are now, must have washed the waves of 
the old Cretaceous inland sea. 

The flat-topped Desert Sandstone hills which we had passed by during our 
journey had indicated the former level of the land, and though all was now dry 
and sterile, the discovery of vast remains of Diprotoduns ami other extinct forms 
at Luke Oallabonna, as well as the general physiographic features of the region, 
have shown that between the far-off time when the land first rose above the level 
of the Cretaceous eea and the present time, there was an ijiterval during which, 
in contrast to its present state, the land was covered partly with great fresh-water 
lakes and partly with rich forest growth, capable of supporting an extensive fauna 
such OS could not possibly exist at the present time. 

It was in 1836 that Mitchell, in his expedition to the Rivers Barling and 
Murray, first discovered the Wellington Caves and found in them the remains of 
a gigantic fossil marsupial, to which in 1838 Owen gave the name of Diprotodon. 
Since that tiuie its remains have been found in many parts of the interior of 
Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia, and in the western parts of 
Victoria, occurring in formations now usually described as of Pliocene age. At 
the snme period lived numerous other and now extinct forms which were ofuin, like 
the Diprotodon, of large size when compared witli their living allies. Amongst these 
may be mentioned PalorcheUes asael, the largest known member of the Kangaroo 
family, the size of which may be inferred from the fact that its skull measured 
sixteen inches in length, while that of the largest living kangaroo {Mmropui 
gigiinteus) measures not more than eight inches. Great though its size was, this 
gigantic kangaroo, judging from the similarity between the bones of its hind legs 
and those of existing kangaroos, jumped along in leaps and bounds much as its 
living successors do. 

Macropus titan and M. anak indicate by the names given to them by Owen 
their size as compared with living species. Linking the huge Diprotodon with the 
Wombats was an animal to which the name Nototherium has been given, and 




which in all probabillt}' may be regarded as a gigantic burrowing creature, much 
like an enormous wombat^ though perhaps its size enforced it to be content with 
digging up roots rather than with actually burrowing amongst them as the living 
wombat does. There was however an anioi J, Phascolomys gigas, belonging to the 
same genus as the wombat which i-uiiched a height of three feet and was of very 
massive build. 

Fragments of bones show also that at the same time there lived Phalangers 
(allied to the so-called " opossum ") of the genus Psaudochirus, and also an animal 
closely allied to the living "native-bear" (Phascolarctoe), though in each cnse the 
fossil animals were of larger size than the living onee. Another now extinct 
animal was the Thylacoleo, in regard to the exact nnture of which there has been 
considerable dispute. Lydekker* says "the remarkably trenchant form of the last 
premolar tooth of this strange extinct representative of the Phalangers not 
unnaturally led to the conclusion that the creature was a carnivore, preying upon 
the large herbivorous Marsupials which were its contemporaries, and it accordingly 
received the specilic name which it bears. Fultt;r acquaintance with its anatomy 
revealed, however, its intimate kinship with the Phalangers, and when this was 
fully realised, it was argued that Thylacoleo must be purely a vegetable feeder. 
Many of tlie Cuscusee are, however, partly carnivorous in their habits ; and in our 
own opinion it seems probable that in this respect their gigantic cousin resembled 
them to a certain extent Not that we mean to assert that Thylacoleo was a 
creaturu which preyed on large Mammals, since to attack and overcome such its 
teeth are clearly not suited ; but we do think that it may have probably killed and 
devoured the smaller Mammals, as well as such birds as it was able to catoh." 

From its huge size, equal to that of a Rhinoceros, Diprotodoa has naturally 
attracted a large amount of attention, and the recent discovery at Lake Callabonna 
of a series of complete skeletons will, when the material upon which Dr. Stirling 
is now engaged has been worked out, enable us to gain a complete account of its 
real nature. It appears to have been an animal the bulk of which was quite equal 
to that of the largest Rhinoceros, though it had longer legs than the latter. 
Unlike a kangaroo both front and hind legs, each of which according to Dr. 
Stirling were probably provided witli five toes, were of the same length, while its 
tail was only a little over a foot in length. Diprotodon was not therefore a 
jumping animal, but, like the kangaroo it was a peaceful herbivor, whilst its huge 
size and strength probably enabled it to tear down at all events the smaller trees, 
upon the foliage of which it fed. 

AUra'a NatanllaM' Ubnry. 18M, p. 200. 



From Callubouua Dr. Stirliog bus also report«d t)ie occurreaco of a fussJI of 
still greater interest in the form of a gigantic bird, some idea uf the sizo of wliicli 
which may bo gained from the fact that its skull is sonio twelve inches in length 
and that the length of the hind leg exceeded that uf the etnu by more than a foot, 
whilst the whole skeleton is proportionately more massive than that of the latter 

Of the fossil remains of extinct marsupials known, from the interior of the 
continent, the most perfect series is undoubtedly that from Ijike CalialKinna, of 
which, thanks to the skill and energy of Mr. Zietz, the Aasistitnt Director of the 
South Australian Musenm, n beautiful series has been brought down to Adelaide, 
where it is now being carefully urrangetl and set up by Mr. Zietz. 

We may now regard as fully established the important conclusion enunciated 
by the late Mr. Wilkinson, Professor Tate and others that, in times immediately 
preceding the Pliocene and continuing into the latter, there was a pluvial period 
duiing which the now desiccated areas centering in Lake Gyre, Lake Torrens, 
and Lake Frotiie, wero clothed with a rich vegetation, amongst which lived the 
large extinct marsupials and birds, the fossil remains of which are found in places 
such as I^ko Callabonna or in the Wellington Guves in Now South Wales. 

With the gradual desiccation of the interior went hand in hand the extinction 
of the ricli flora and of the large animals dependent upon it, though there was 
probably some other cause at work aiding in the extinction of the big marsupials, 
because they became extinct not only in the centre, where the extreme desiccation 
prevailed, but also in such other parts as Western Victoria, where there is no 
reason to suppose tlint the conditions of life, so far as climate was concerned, were 
rigorous enough to alone account for their dying out. Possibly, as Mr. Do Vis 
has suggested, their extinction was due at all events in large part to some form of 
senile decay of the race. 

Whilst at Henbury a visit was paid by Messrs. Stirling and Watt to the 
Chandler Range, lying about twelve miles to the north of our camp by the side ot 
the Finke. These hills arc composed of Silurian sandstone, and are some 1500 
feet high. On thetn, for the' tirsi time during the Expedition, was seen the native 
tig tree {Ficus platypoda), and the pine {Calliiis verrucosa), both of which were 
met witli after this in abundance on all the ranges furnied of Silurian sandstones 
and quartzitee, or of still older gneissic, Pre-Cambrian rocks, as in the main 


58 iioKN RXPEmrioH — naurative. 

Ill tlie Chandler Range is u curious shallow cave which was investigated by 
Or. Stirling and is described by him in the Anthropologicul section. It has a 
projecting ledge of rock, and has evidently, for many years past, been associated 
with some ceremony of the blacks. The front of the le<lge, which is about ten 
feet bigli, is ornamented with alternate vertical lines of red and yelluw ochre, 
amongst which are dark bauds of what is evidently blood which has flowed over the 
edge and dried up. 

The blacks assured us that nt this spot a special rite of blood-letting was 
enacted, in connection with a ceremony, the object of which was to iucrease the 
number of wallaby. The native uame for the spot is " Antiarra," aud it is very 
probable that here, for many years past, the blood-letting eereuiony has been 
periodically enacted. 

Ceremonies uf this kind are not uncommon amongst the natives of Central 
Australia, as will be seen by reference to Mr. Uillen's article in the Anthropologicul 
section, where he descril>es two, one of which is connected with the increase of the 
" witc'betty " and the other with the supply of water. These ceremonies, which 
may be descri)>ed as " sacred " corrobborees, are intimately associated with certain 
subdivisions of the tribe and very clearly indicate the existence of totems — that 
is, of the intimate connection of a group of individuals with some natural object — 
though this toteuijstic idea has become considerably modilied amongst the Arunta 
tribe wh«n compared, for example, with those of tlie Urrapunna tribe to the south 
of Charlotte Waters and others (as described by Messrs. Howitt and Fison) in 
which every individual lielongs to some particular totem, and in which, further, 
only individuals belonging to particular totems may intermarry. 

In tribes in which the totem subdivisions regulate marriage it is most 
frequently the cose that the individual is supposed not to kill or eat the natunil 
object bearing the name of his totem ; but in the Aruntu, so far as at present 
known, nu such relation between the individual and his totem in rec<>gnised, or if 
recognised at all then only during perhaps some special period. 

A lai^e number of blacks were camped out in the sandy bed of the Finke, 
amongst tlie big red gum trees {£. rosirala), which hon^ as elsewhere, grew right 
in the bed of the creek itself. Some of them were shaping speai-s, others were 
grinding Munyeru, but the great majority were lying about doing nuthing, and 
perfectly happy because they had enough to cat— a bullock having been just 
killed, of which they had, ns usual, secured the parte not wanted by t)ie white 



Wliilst coUectiog various nrtides iimongst them, I wns surprised to find tbut. 
Hit first, even the ofiur of tobacco was firmly refused for a very coumoiiploce 
aecblet, which was, apparently, only a narrow curd of Imir wull greased and 
covered with red ochre after tlie native faBhion. After some little time, during 
which the owner seemed very unwilling to refer to it at all and only spoke in 
whispers, it appeared that the necklet contained the hair of a dead warrior taken 
from his head after death. It was therefore regiirded really us a charm and as 
endowing the wearer with the attributes of the dead warrior. It was only after 
some two hours' persuasion and a liberal gift of tobacco that the owner could be 
induced to part with it. 

Travelling north-west from Henbury we still followed up the Finke. Along 
the banks were patches of Salsolo, but they were becoming less frequent as we left 
the Desert Sandstone behind us, and gnisses such us clumps of Spinifex (S. para- 
doxus), and now and again of Porcupine (Triodia sp.), were becoming more 
frequent. For the first time also we met with Eucalyptus gamopkylla, one of the 
Mallee gums, that is, those which have a bole or bossy stem often not conspicuous 
above the ground from which arise a number of small branches. The so-called 
mallee i-oot is, in fact, the main trunk. The leaves of this species as its name 
indicates have no leaf stalks, but are joined to one another in pairs by their bases 
uniting around the stem. The tree does not attain to a greater height than 
perhaps fifteen feet or at most twenty. 

All through the scrub we met with large webs of a spider which existe in 
great numbei-s throughout tile central region from Oodnadatta in the south, up to 
Alice Springs in the north, and away to the George (jill Itange in the west. The 
webs stretch across from tree to tree for a distance often of twelve to fifteen feet, 
and are, perhaps, five or six feet in height in the centre. During the day-time the 
spider (Nepkile eremiana) can almost always be seen in the centre. It is of 
considerable size, the whole body l>eing sometimes upwards of two inches long, and 
when disturbed it rapidly retreats along one of the strong side lines leading away 
into a shrub on which can often be seen its cocoon attached to the leaves. Very 
often two webs were found close together — in fact, this was of such frequent 
occurrence as to draw special attention to it— one with a large and tlie other with 
a smaller spider on them but in every cose they were all females. Their food 
consists of any kind of insects which fly into the webs which are so strong as to 
make riding through them not at all comfortable ; they are so strong as to suggest 
the idea that they might even entangle small birds, but none were seen thus 
captured. Though the spiders savit in great numbers, still, of the < 



DutulKr of j'ouug ones contained in each cocoon only comparatively very few can 
ever reach maturity. 

Two (lays' travelling from Henbury brought us to a spot known as Running 
Waters, on tins Finke. Here the water, which haa been following the river bo<l 
beneath the surface, rises up, and the rare sight of water actunlty running for a 
short distance is seen, but it soon sinks down again and leaves nothing but the 
dry sandy bed. There muBt be at this spot some bar of rock over which the water 
is forced to rise. In the watcr-hule by which we camped for the night were 
plenty of tish and an abundant growth of Potamogeton, Vallisnerio, and a plant 
{Naias major) with small, thick, succulent leaves. We also secured specimens of 
the crayfish, which turns out to be the Astacopsii bUarinatus^ which is widely 
distributed over B^tern Australia, from Queensland in the north to Victoria in 
the south, and which is apparently also widely scattered over the interior. The 
wide distribution of this particular species is evidently associated with its 
capability of adapting itself to life under varying conditions. In Victoria we 
always find it in creeks and water-boles ; but when the latter dry up it will make 
a burrow and throw up a cast perhaps a foot high, with a small tubular pitssage 
leading through it to the underground chamber, where a supply of water is kept. 
Under iioi'Uial conditions in Victoria it remains in the water, and what is called 
the "Und crab," which always lives under logs or in burrows on land, often far 
away from water, belongs to a diBerent genus [Engceus, sp.). This genus is only 
found ill Tasmania and Southern Victoria, and does not oxtend up into Queensland 
or even Ni:w South Wales. In the more northern parts, as in Queensland, the 
Aitiuopsis I'iciiriaatus will go on to and burrow in land away from water just like 
the fingieus, and it is this power of adaptability to varying environment which 
enables it to survive in Central Australia. 

Like the true land cmb {Telphusa transvtna) before referred to, when the 
drought comes it retires into a burrow in the banks of the water-hole. The 
natives know well and appreciate it as an article of food, for sometimes it grows 
into the size of a small lobster. They call it illya-&nma. 

Another day's journey brought us right into the James Range and into quite 
a diflerent class of scenery. The monotonous plains, with their alternation of 
stony and loamy flats, with now and then a patch of sandhills and in the distance 
flat-topped, terraced hills, were left behind, and we found ourselves travelling 
through valleys of varying extent, all thickly covered with scrub and lying between 
rugged ranges of red sandstone hills jutting out into Ixild, rounded crags. 



Leaving the Pinke, which was coming down from the north, we struck 
westwards and camped nt the foot of tlie hills near to the Ilpilla Creek at 
Illamurto, where is an outlying police cnnip, plnced in this far distant spot 
principally for the purpose of preventing, if posailile, the interference of the 
blacks with the cattle on the runs. 



The Higher Steppes. 

The Southern Part of the James Range and the George Gill 
and Levi Ranges. 

The Jjuiica Riuiks— The Tolici! Csinp at Illururta— CollertlnK amonKit the Riuigt*— FInt uppnnnpe of BIkrk 

Enrth— Eirthwomui— SijtniflHince ol the preeen™ ol Anuithodrilua uiil MIorophJTi™ in Csntnl AuitniH*— 
Tho Ilf^lln Creok— romlstcnoD ot Land UuLIiuol uiiDnKBt the IIsii|r»— Fiih In the Walor-pooli in the 
ripllla Gortic-'AbKnce in Ontml Auitnlla or uiythlnic like ■ gmt Mountain Bulge with shcKcnd aiid 
rertlle V>ilc>-s— Necrnltj- ot heing In thodlstriet durin); the vuiouBSeiHons— Leave Illamuita and travel on 
to the PahiwT RIvec— CunTp near Co the lllua Wst^r-hole— Native TolncoD Plant— Abwnm of Fni|,ianrl 
other an biioli probahly due to lovi tenipemturo at nlghCs— Tho Party divides Into tuogoetions. one \ga\nti 
to Tempo I>o«n» the other to tho Peteniiann Crwk— Tenipe Downii Button— Vleit rroiu the Station 
Ranito— Tho Walker River and Oorge— Tho hablCa or tho Poreuplne-Kram Ant— A Corrobbonw at Tempo 
Dovm—Huolml InHtruuionts aiuoiiKn the BUeks— The Mahi Cauip at the Petemionn Creek— Tnvone ol 

tace ol the Oooikc OIII Biuiee to BaKOt Creek— Our Cainpa at BoKOt and Roedy Creeks— DeacrlpUon ol the 
Reedy Creek Camp— Onni Creeks— View Imm the Emrpment ol the George OIII Range— Collecting unongat 
tho Bondhllb to the MUth ol the Range— Jerboa-nita, Mice and Antechlnomys- Tncklng ol Eniua by the 
nlarka— Penny 8)irln):i— Cycoda, EncqihalaHoe niaodonnelli— A PlcCureaque Oort[e— Native Book Draaringi 
at Bced>- Creek -Pigmenle lued lij tho NaHvos-DlvWon Into Two ParUe«-Thc Main Camp (ravels 
eaitnard to Laurie Creek and then to tho HcDonnell Range— A SiDatl Part)' under the guidance <A Hr. 
E. C. Cowle goes south acrOM Lake AniodouB to visit Ayen Rock and Mount Olga. 

TiiR Jitmes Range is tlio name given to a large number of ridges which run 
roughly pftrallel to one aiiothi^r from east to west In the Ueological section of 
the work it is used to include the rangrs usually spoken of as tho James, 
KriohnulT and Waterhouse and also the Silurian or Ordoviciau Itidge forming 
part nf the McDonnells. 

On its way down from tho north the main Pinke cuts its «ay across range 
after range in iv series of deep gorges, and everywhere the hills are intersectwl 
with valleys of various sir^e hemmed in by more or less precipitous rocks of red 
sandstone, on which grow fig trees and pines. 

The Police Camp lies at the opening of one of these valleys, down which runs 
• a creek, dry at tho time of our visit except for one or two small water-holes. A 
carefully tended garden by the creek side yields an abundant supply of vegetables, 
and here for the iirst time we saw what might be called black earth, which was 
more or less moist and very differout from the dry, sandy and loamy ground 



At the Police Camp we met Mr, Doer, the ofBcer in charge. Mr. K C. Cowlo, 
who was associated with him and has now succeeded Mr. Daer as officer in 
chargn, and who we hoped would join the Expedition for a time, was away, 
having gone over to a place called Grldunda, some dlBtance to the south, in order 
to meet us, as it had been at first arranged that we should travel by that route. 
To Mr. Daer we were much indebted tor hia kindly reception of us and for his 
generosity in placing horses at our disposal in order to allow some of us to make n 
flying visit to Ayers Rock and Mount OJga apart from the main camel team, 
which travelled too slowly to allow of such a detour ; and it is with deep regret 
that the members of the party who experienced the kindness of Mr, Daer hiive 
since heard of his death. 

We made our camp at the entrance to the valley and at the base of a 
picturesque rugged bluff of red sandstone. Spelling for a d:iy, we had the chnncc 
of a little quiet work for the first time amongst the ranges, and each of ua set out 
in quest of what he most desired. Messrs. Tate and Watt were out geologising, 
the former also in search of plants; Dr. Stirling was busy with the blacks; 
Keartland was in search of birds, and amongst tlie scrub in the gorge behind the 
camp he secured for the first time a new honey-eater {Ptilotis keartlandf), which 
was afterwards met with in other parts amongst Mulga and Maliee scrub; 
Pritchard, one of the two prospectors who had joined us at Henbury and who, 
together with his partner Russell, was always ready to help us in any possible way 
in our work, went out with myself to dig along the creek banks. I was anxious 
to learn something witli regard to the earthworm fauna of the centre of the 
continent, and this was the first spot in which it was at all likely that any such 
animals could exist. They had previously been searched for, but always unsuc- 
cessfully. We b^tin to dig in a patch of damp black earth where reeds were 
growing thickly. First of all a few specimens of the frogs LimnodynasUs oritalus 
and Hyia rubella were found, and then a good many snails (T/iersites ad^ockiana) 
were turned out of the ground. After a short time we came upon a small 
earthworm — the only kind met with during the whole Expedition, though they 
were carefully searched for. 

It is a species of Acanthodrilus {A. eremius) peculiar to this part, and belongs 
to a genus of earthworms which b rare in Australia, where it has only been found 
in Queensland and in one locality in North-west Australia, but which is charac- 
teristic of New Zealand and is also found in New Caledonia, Kerguclcn, South 
America and the Cape of Uood Hope. 



Jt is a reniarknblc fact l)iat the eartliwonn found it) the centre of the 
continent belongs to ft amall series of animals the ancestors of which may perhaps 
have reached Australia by way of the Antarctic regions. On the whole the 
evidence is in favour of regarding this earthworm as a lingering relic of a fauna 
derived from the north-eastern side of the continent during the period prior to the 
time at which the interior bt^gan to assume its present state of desiccation. Side 
by side with Acanthodrilus lives a small land-shell, Microphyvra hemiclauia, 
belonging to a genus which Mr. Hedley has described ns being " of high antiquity 
and of Antarctic origin." This genus also is found in Queensland, New Caledonia 
and the Loyalty Islands. 

Probably Acanthodrilus entered Australia by way of a land tract extending 
perhaps not at one, but at intervals of, time, from the north of Queensland south- 
wards, towards the Antarctic, across what is now New Zealand, which b the 
headquarters of the genus, At all events there is no trace of the latter in 
Tasmania, Victoria or New South Wales, In the centre it is veiy local indeed, 
probably it exists elsewhere, but we only found it in three sheltered and favoured 
spots, separated by loD^ distances from one another. These three spots were 
Illoinurta in the James Range, Bagot Creek on the south side of tlie George Gil) 
Range and the Finke Gorge in the McDonnell Range. Even in these places it 
was only found in small colonies each of which occupied not more than a few 
square yards of ground in extent. 

We may, as said above, regard Micropkyura hemiclausa amongst the molluscs 
and Acanthodrilus eremius amongst the worms as the descendents of ancestral 
forms which long ago entered the continent, and under very different climatic 
conditions from those which now prevail, migrated inland from the north-east coast 
and with change of climate have l)eeQ left stranded in the interior. 

Certainly there cannot have been for a very long time past any introduction 
of earthworms into the interior, and it is scarcely likely that thb genus — the 
rarest of all earthworms in Australia— should owe its existence in the centre to a 
chance introduction, whilst none of the, at present abundant and characteristic 
Australian genera, have been similarly introduced. 

Not far from the camp at Illanmrta was the rocky ravine through which flows 
in flood time the Ilpilla Creek. On the rugged sandstone cliffs bounding the 
ravine, pines and fig trees were growing and under the shelter of the latter various 
molluscs were found alive. We hod before seen plenty of dead shells in the 
rejectamenta of the Finke, left behind when the floods had dried up, but amongst 



the Silurinti Ranges we now found them alive in their homes from wliich in flood 
times they Are washed away down stream and are left stranded, when the waters 
dry up, in places where they cannot live. They prefer the shady sides o! the 
mountain ranges or of the gor^;es. In some cases, as Professor Tate remarks, one 
species such as for example, Thenites adockiana (which was found in the Ilpilla 
ravine) will be more or less widely distributed, but in other cnses there may be 
only two or three colonies separated from each other by long distances. It is 
perhaps a matter of some surprise that so many spteciea of mollusca should be met 
with in such a district as the dry interior of Australia, but though there is now 
but tittle chance of its being stocked from without by carriage of the animals 
across the dry regions which everywhere separate the central ranges from the 
moister coastal district, still there is no reason why n considerable number should 
not have pei'sisted, some in modified form, as the descendents of a once rich 
molluscan fauna. Water snails sucli as Limnea, Melania and Bulinus can always 
find sheltered w.iter-holes amongst the ranges where they can rcm.iin alive— 4f they 
happen to be developed in them — during even the driest season and from which in 
flood times other pools can bo stocked. Probably like most animals in tliis district 
they have acquired the power of reproducing the moment conditions are favourable, 
and of developing rapidly. 

The land forms of snail are more or less hardy, and by means of living as 
they do in dibris around the base of and sheltered by thick trees such as the 
native fig, growing on the shady side of bills, and by plugging up the mouth of the 
shell to prevent desiccation they can withstand a dry climate in which at first it 
might be thought that no land mollusc could survive. Naturally most of them are 
of small size — some exceedingly minute — and not even the largest of then) is too 
big to crawl into a suiall cleft and so hide it«elf during the hot season, protected 
both by ite position and its parchment-like operculum. Some of the water forma 
as previously mentioned ( Isidorella newt'ombt) burrow in the earth whilst the 
hardiness of others (as Bithinia australis) is shown by the fact that with their 
operculum tightly closed they can remain alive — quite dry — for at least fifteen 

The floor of the gorge was rocky, and in the small water-pools amongst the 
deep clefts and amidst a rich growth of Vallisneria and Chara were plenty of fish, 
now so thickly aggregated that they could easily be caught by means of light 
spears— an art in which the blacks were adepts. Most of them were bony 
bream {Chatoessus korni'), but none reached the siw of those found in the deeper 
pools such .ts the one at Henbury. 



Only one exnmple of tho rarest of the Central Australian 6sh — Plolosus 
argenteui — was found. This is a new species of Siluroiil closely allied to the 
commun cat-fish {Copidoglanh landnnus) of tho Murray River, though it is much 
smaller in size, only reaching n length of about five inches. Tlie black boy with 
mo legardcd it as a dangerous animal to touch, probably because of ite strong 
dor^l spine. 

Except in the case of pools such as the one at Henbury, every individual fish 
which gets washed down from the small permanent holes amongst the ranges must 
inevitably perish. It would not be more than at most throe or four weeks before 
all those which we saw along tho Dpilla Gorge would be dead, as the pools were 
very email and shallow and were rapidly drying up. 

Leaving Illamurta, we travelled westwards through Mulga scrub along the 
southern base of the range with its series of jutting promontories. Every now 
and again were patches of desert oaks or Mallee gum and the hard sandy ground 
was covered with yellow kangaroo grass, while occasionally there were tussocks 
of porcupine gross brightened with the red flowers of Brachysema growing 
around their bases Though the country with its bold red ranges was somewhat 
picturesque, at oil events in comparison with the nnoiiotonous gibber plains, still 
everything was as dry as in the Desert Sandstone district, and we had now been 
completely disillusionised with regard to the idea with which we had started — 
that we should find these central ranges of the continent an oasis in which had 
been preserved relics elsewhere lost of a more or less primitive fauna and flora. 

Ab Professor Tate has sud in the Botanical report, he had " pictured a vast 
mountain system capable of preserving some remnants of that pristine flora which 
had existed on this continent in Faleocene times — probably a beech, possibly an 
oak, elm of sycamore." For my own part I had hoped to find amongst the ranges 
well watered and fertile valleys, with at all events a few types of animal life, 
especially amongst marsupials, which had persisted in this isolated part of the 

The fact probably is that travellers, struck with the beauty of certain spots, 
after passing for long, weary weeks or even months over desert country, have 
unconsciously exaggerated their beauty and fertility. In reality the ranges form 
bare and often narrow ridges separated from one another by dry and sandy, scrub 
covered flats varying in breadth from a few hundred yards to many miles, and 
there is nothing like a great mountain mass with sheltered, well watered and 
fertile valleys such as we had pictured in imagination. 



There arc, however, ispots aueh m the Glen of Palms, Ayers Rook, Mount 
Olga and the goi^es amongst the James and McDonnell Rnngea, the beauby and 
even grandeur of which are undeniable, and though the interior did not reveal 
such fonns of striking interest as we hod hoped to find still the animal and plant 
life with its adaptation to a harsh climate was well worth studying. 

In the limited time at our dispoeal we did aa much as was possible, but we 
should have been more contented with a much longer time. With n^rd to this 
Mr. Horn most generously made no definite conditions, but as the members of the 
scientific staff could not possibly remiun in the Geld, owing to University duties, 
for more than four months it was impossible for us to do more than was done. In 
Central Australia much depends upon conditions of climate. Especially, so far 
as the fauna is concerned, you need to be there in a wet season as well as during a 
dry one. Just before and after the rains animals are in evidence which are not 
seen at other times, and of course within a short time of the rainfall plants spring 
up and blossom which are never seen in the dry season. 

Along with the plants go the insects and along with these to a large extent 
the birds, reptiles, amphibians and smaller mammals. We were not fortunate 
enough to meet with any rain and our collection suffered in consequence, but 
thanks to Mr. Byrne of Charlotte Waters, Mr. Uillen and Mr. J. Field of Alice 
Springs, Mr. Cowie of Illamurta, and to a second visit after the following rainy 
season I have been largely able to supplement the zoological collection. Much 
doubtless yet remains to be done, but both as regards Botany and Zoology the 
important features are now probably known. 

Some twenty miles west of Illamurta we struck the Palmer River close to the 
Illara water-hole — a deep pool fringed with rushes and hemmed in with high 
rocks, in the shelter of which close to the pool was a fine growth of the native 
tobacco plant {Nia>liaHum svaveolens). At the edge of the water was a dense bed 
of the curious water plant Naias major, some twenty feet in length, six feet in 
width, and in the thickest part four feet in height, but unfortunately no fruit 
was to be seen. A few wood duck were swimming about, and small shoals of 
Chatoiisus homi and Thera/'on percoides were feeding, but were too wary to be 
caught. To the south of the river was a wide open flat, bat the northern bank 
for two miles was hemmed in by an escarpment of rock at the base of which the 
river ran, that is to say it would run in flood time, after emerging from the rocky 
gorge at the mouth of which lay the Illara water-hole. The bed was filled with 
rushes and contained a series of shallow water-pools in which I expected to find 
numbers of frogs, hut was disappointed, as not one was to be seen or heard. 



Tliis WRS perhaps due to the fact that as sooq aa ever the sun set it became very 
cold, the temperature gradually Tailing to several degrees below freezing point. Tt 
was now the first of June, so that we were very close to mid-winter, and what 
frogs there were remained hidden, or at all events kept away from water during 
the cold nighte. 

After croHsing the Palmer we divided next morning into two parties ; the 
main camel train, with Messrs. Winnecke an<l Watt, went south-west into the 
Levi Range, while Professor Tate, Dr. Stirling and myself followed up the Walker 
Kiver, which here joined the Palmer, to Tempe Downs — a cattle station then in 
the possession of Mr. F. Thornton, liy whom we were most kindly received and 
entertained. Tempe Downs is the most westerly of the few stations or, to speak 
more correctly, cattle runs in the central district ; o( late years drought and low 
prices have combined to render the enterprise of those who have atterapte<l to 
utilise the land of the far interior a somewhat hazardous undertaking. The 
outlying runs are managed by one or two white men aided by black " boys." 
Occasionally there has been trouble with the natives, to whom, in hard times, the 
sight of cattle must be a great temptation ; but hy kindly treatment of them 
Mr. Thornton has had comparatively little trouble with the aborigines. It is not 
difficult to realise that it must appear exceedingly strange to the blacks that 
whilst the white man can shoot down the emus and kangaroos he, the hiackfellow, 
is not allowed to spear the cattle. 

Tempe Downs is situated in a long valley (in fact it is, strictly speaking, 
the valley to which the name given by Uiles applies) not more than a mile in 
width, open towards the west end hut completely closed eastwards except just at 
one spot where the Walker River, which runs along the valley, breaks in a deep 
gorge through the mountain range, closing in the valley on the north. By 
running a fence across the valley to the and another across the jiarrow gorge 
of the Walker there is formed a piiddock many miles in length in which, if need 
be, all the cattle can be kept securely. 

From the Station Range on the south, which rises five hundred feet above 
the valley, which is itself 1G70 feet above sea level, we had a fine and character- 
istic view. 

To the north of us was range after range of hills running east and west and 
separated from one another by a series of parallel valleys ; a. mile to the east tlie 
Walker broke through the nearest range to continue its easterly course to the 
Palmer in the valley just beyond. The hill on which we stood was cut through 



by (Jeep gorges, in many of which- were little rock-pools, whilst the valley at our 
feet stretched awjiy westwards for twenty miles to broaden out into a plsiin lying 
to the north of the George Gill Range and opening into tho desert sandhill 
country out to the west of the main mountain ranges. 

We spent nearly three days at Tenipe Downs, collecting amongst the valleys 
and on the hill sides and photojfraphing amongst the blacks, a good number of 
whom were camped out in the bed of the river close by. Everything was as dry 
as usual except for a fair sized water-hole in the shelter of the Walker Gorge, in 
which we secui-ed a new species of fish {NenuUocenlris Inlet), which we afterwar<Is 
found in other water-holes amongst the ranges. Mr. Thornton told us that after 
a heavy fall of rain small iish are often found in the pools amongst the ravines 
high up on the hill sides. The only possible way in which they can get into such 
positions is by being carried there perhaps in the form of eggs attached to the 
feet of birds, which the moment the rain comes, appear as if by magic. 

In the same water-holes were abundant specimens of a uiollusc, Melanta 
balonneniis, crawling upon the floor, while, as usual, the sandy edge was marked 
with the ridges left by the mole cricket {Grylhlalpa coanlala) as it burrowed its 
way along the damp sand. We could always secure this insect at the edge of 
water-holes with a sandy margin. 

On the rising ground between the Walker and the Station Range, in a scrub 
of gums, Acacias and Cassias, were somewhat open patches covered with tussocks 
of porcupine grass (Triodia sp.), and here I spent some time watching the habits 
of a curious little black ant which hod been describtxl by Mr. Kirby under the 
name of ffypaclinea flavipes, and may be called the Porcupine grass Ant. 

Various explorers have already noted the presence of curious little galleries 
which run along the surface of the ground, often for long distances, from one 
tussock of porcupine grass to another. lu some parts, and especially on hard 
sandy soil where the tussocks of grass are not too close together, these galleries 
as they are called, though tunnels would be a better name, form a r^ular net- 
work. Each is from one quarter U> half an inch in width and, in section, is 
roughly semicircular in shape. They are made of grains of sand fastened together 
with the resinous material obtained by the ants from tho gelatinous leaf sheaths 
of the Triodia, and they form runs which lead from one tussock to another, along 
which the ants can travel sheltered from the light and more especially perhaps 
from the heat of the sun. In many cases they lead for long distances up the 
trunks of gum trees. 



In addition to the gulloriea running nlong the ground some of ttie tussocks of 
Porcupine have their long spiny leaves more or less wbully enclosed in little 
cylinders of sand, formed in the same way, to such an 
extent that the whole tussock looks like a network of sand, 
tubes. In other cases there were only small cylindrical 
cases of sand here and there on the spiny leaves. Each 
of these was perhaps half an inch or an inch long and m 
quarter of an inch in diameter, and so built that tl)e grass 
blade formed one part of the wall, a space being enclosed 
between it and the sand. The cylinder was always closed 
at the top and had a small opening at the bottom, so that 
if rain came it would not get into tlie chambers. 

Watching the ants, which are very small and black- 
bodied with yellowish feet, I saw them constantly running 
in and out of these chambers, and on opening the latter 
found that they were always built over two or more CoccidK 
attached to the leaf of the grass. Here, as in the case of 
tiie ante described by Belt in Nicaragua, the Goccidu abstract nutriment from 
the leaf, and the ants take advantage of the exudation from the body of the 
Coccus. This arrangement is without doubt of advantage to both parties 
uoQcerned. The Coccldte gain protection from enemies, to whom they are made 
invisible, and also from the great heat of the sun, and at the same time the anls 
get without much trouble to themselves a supply of food. 

I think after examining a considerable number of tussocks of porcupine grass 
both here and elsewhere that the network of sand tubes, which as above said some- 
times cover the whole tussock, always commences in the form of a number of 
chambers specially built over the Coccidas which it is quite likely— though I had 
not the means of testing it— are actually brought on to the leaf by the ants. Then 
covered passages are made up the loaves, leading from one chamber to another and 
BO gradually the whole tussock te enclosed. 

Tracing the passages down to the roots the ant neat is seen to be built around 
the latter or rather part of it as the tussocks are often of large size. The nest 
consiste of a more or less conical mass of material built up of sand particles 
agglutinated by the resin derived from the leaf sheaths with remains of the roots 
running through it. The laigest nest dug up measured a foot and a half in depth 
and about a foot across at the top which was just below the surface of the ground 
from which it graduaUy tapered downwards. It was riddled with passages of 



various sizes, some un inch in diitincter, along which the eggs appeared to be lying 
ubout irregularly. Each nest contains larger and smaller winged forms, small 
black and larger brown-block wingless ones. 

The blacks gather together large quantities of the viscid leaf slieaths of the 
porcupine grass {Triodia pungtns), and after cutting it up into small pieces, burn 
away as much hs possible of the grass itself and so obtain lumps of black resin in 
which remnants of the leaves and leaf stalks can always be seen. These lumps of 
resin they use, after softening with heat, for various purposes such as tliat of 
fivstening bite of flint on to the ends of their epear-th rowers, the resin setting into 
a moss OS hard as stone. 

In an appendix to the Botanical report Mr. Maiden has shown that the nest 
is built of sand particles agglutinated witli resin, a coating of ferric oxide giving 
to the whole the colour and appearance of reddish-brown clinker. That the ants 
do carry away the resin from tlie leaf sheaths of the grass, both to make their 
nests and to cement together the sand particles of which their tunnels are made, 
cannot be doubted ; but it is rather difficult to understand how they accomplish the 
task, OS the resin on the leaf sheath is of such a nature that it feels like varnish, 
and it would rather be thought that the ants would have stuck to the resin when 
tliey touched it and would not have been able to carry it away in a condition tit to 
use it in the way in which they da Perhaps they have the power of smearing 
some fluid matter over it which enables them to carry away little pieces of it 
without ite adhering closely to their appendages. 

In many coses the nest was at the base of a tussock which had evidently been 

The blacks — so they assured me — do not make use of the resiu already 
massed together by the ants to form their nests, but always get it by burning 
the leaves of the porcupine grass for themselves. They could not tell me why 
they did iiot do so, but only said that their fathers hod not and they never did, 
which is a typical answer to the question " why " when put to a black. This was 
at Tempe Downs, perhaps in some other parts of the continent they do make use of 
the ant nest. 

Mr. Maiden Las stated that they do so in certoin parts of West Australia, 
and certainly the first time you pick up a piece of the nest you are likely to jump 
to the conclusion that it is exactly what they would do, as at first sight the 
clinker-like mass resembles the blocks of resin which the blacks use for the 
purpose. It seemed such a foregone conclusion that when the black boys told me 



they never used the ri'sin from the root I was at finit considerably surprised. 
However, oa second thoughts, it did not appear so surprising. The uiaia part of 
the nest consists of sand grains, and without burning it completely away it would 
be no easy task to separate the resin from the sand, whilst in the case of the 
le-aves of the plants it is easy to hiini them away and leave the melte<) resinous 
mass behind. I have not, amongst a large number of native implements examined, 
seen one in which sand grains, such as would certainly be found were the resin 
obtained from the ant nest, could be detected ; but, on the other hand, it is 
rarely that little bits of the leaves of the grass cannot be seen which liave escaped 
the fire. 

Amongst the roots of the grass I also found a larger form of Coccus and also 
one special form of bug, but could not detect any special connection between 
them and the ants. 

Our stay at Tempe Downs gave Professor Tate the opportunity of examining 
some fossiliferouB beds from which M!r. ThornUm had previously obtained remains 
of Trilobites, and the fauna of which was now more fully worked out 

Amongst the blacks a considerable collection of native articles of various 
kinds was made by Dr. Stirling, and as this was the most westerly spot at which 
we came in contact with them in any number, and as men both of the Luritclia 
and Aruiita Tribes were gathered together, Dr. Stirling's time was fully occupied. 
At night time corrobborees were held. A place was cleared in the scrub and tires 
lighted at either end. At one end sat the audience, whilst the performers danced 
up and down the open space keeping time to the chanting of the audience, who 
also beat Upon the ground with sticks. The fitful light shining on the white 
trunks of the gum trees and on the decorated bodies of the performers and the 
low monotonous chanting, at one time breaking into a louder refrain and then 
dying away into a murmur, produced a curiously weird effect. Each corrobboree 
has its set parts or " figures," and each performer has his own part to play, for of 
course tlie dancing is confined to the men, the women being merely spectators. 
Elach corrobboree also is associated with some special object such as, for example, 
the emu, or wild cat (Dasyurus) or wild dog (Dingo). The one which we saw at 
Tempe Downs has been described by Dr. Stirling in the Anthropological section. 

Whilst the chanting is not by any means devoid of a curious and quaint 
musical rhythm of a simple nature, the musical instruments are of the simplest 
and most primitive nature. 

In the first place, if it can be called a musical instrument at all, there is the 
flattened stick with which, by beating monotonously on the ground, the time is 



emphasised. In other parts of Australia a dull, henvy sound is produced by 
beating upon rolled-up fur rugs, but the Arunta uiid Luritclm blacks do not 
manufacture anything like a rug. 

By way of trumpet there is a hollowed out piecd of the stem of a tree 
perhaps two or three feet in length and ornamented exteronlly with red ochre 
and bBn<ls of white gypsum and yellow ochre. This is blown through to increase 
the volume of sound. 

The only otlier musical instrument which the Central Austriiliun blacks use is 
one, the native name of which is " Trora," which was given to me by Mr. Byrne nt 
Charlotte Waters. It has simply the form of two pieces of wood, each of which 
is about six inches in length rounded off and tapering at either end. On^, which 
is somewhat the larger, being about four and a half inches in length and an inch 
and a half in diameter, is held in the left hand and is struck at intervals by the 
other held in the right hand. The latter one may be varied in form and Boiiie- 
tiiiies has the terminal part in the shape of two prongs. Beyond these the 
Central Australian blacks do not seem to have any musical instruments. They 
have not conceived any idea even of a drum. 

Whilst we were busy at Tempe Downs the camel train, with Messrs. Winneckc 
and Watt, had camped in the valley to the north of the Levi Range, and this 
spell gave to the latter the opportunity of traversing and examining carefully the 
series of ridges which form the range. Though not of any great height, still 
their rugged nature and the steep faces make climbing somewhat tedious work. 
Mr, Watt found that the Levi Range has been worn out of a gentle syncline ; on 
both the north and south side is a bold precipice from two to three hundred feet 
in height, below which the aides slope down for some two hundred feet more at a 
steep angle, covered with a talus of blocks of various sizes and overgrown with 
thin scrub, above which the red escarpment stands out boldly. 

The main camp to the north of the range was by the side of Petermann 
Creek where it sweeps round in a big curve hemmed in by a great amphitheatre 
of l>old red clifis. 

Following up the Petermann for some miles we came to the western termina- 
tion of the Levi Range and turned southwards between the latter and the George 
Gill Range. If it were not for this break, through which flows Trickett's Creek, 
the George Gill and Levi Ranges would be continuous. After coming out from 
this gap we turned eastwards and skirted the southern escarpment of the George 
Gill Range. 



Away to the south was the desert aandhill country which forms the hosin of 
the Lake Amodeus draim^ system, so that, strictly speaking, we had now passed 
out of the Larapintiae region and were on the northern limit of the Amndean 
from which stretches out westwards the true Desert or Ereniian region, of 
which tlie basin of Lake Amadeus may be regarded as the eastern termination. 
The George Gill Range on its southern face presents a succession of bold headlands 
separated from one another by gorges down each of which runs, in wet seasons, a 
stream, the more important of which are Bagot, Stokes, Beedy, Penny and King 
Creeks. Each of these runs out for a short distance — perhaps tea miles at uiost — 
into the sandhill country, where their waters rapidly disappear. They give rise to 
what have always been termed by the early explorers "Gum creeks," that is sandy 
beds wirich only contain water, if at all, at rare intervals, but along the sides of 
which grow a line of gum trees (Eucalyptus rostralii). 

Our first camp was at Bagot Creek. Here there were two small water-holes, 
one of them surrounded with a rich growth of the reed Arundo phragmites in full 
flower while a very small stream trickled at intervals down the rocky valley leading 
up behind our camp into the hills. 

In certain respects our camp here and the next one at Reedy Creek were not 
only amongst the most pleasant from their picturesque surroundings but were the 
beet from a collecting point of view. On the one side we had the range of 
Silurian sandstone hills with its sheltered water-pools and on the other the open 
sandhill country. There was plenty of work for the Zoologist and Botanist; 
within accessible distance were fossiliferous strata, and the presence of aborigines 
was mitde evident by rock paintings. A lengthy stay in this part with a main 
camp by one of the water-holes and time to go out and explore the district would 
probably yield valuable results. 

A description of Reedy Creek will serve to give some idea of the surroundings. 
Here our camp was at the base of a semicircular hollow in the range open to the 
south and shut in to the north by precipitous clifis of red sandstone some two 
hundred feet in heiglit. At one spot at the base of these sheltered by the rocks 
and hidden by a growth of rushes and ferns was a deep water-pool. On the rocks 
. were pines, fig trees and Tecomas, and close by the water's edge were clusters of 
the ferns Adiantum and Clieilanthcs, while a rich growth of Aspidium had spread 
over the swampy ground which formed an outlet from the pool in flood time 
The water was flecked with the floating leaves of Vallisneria and Potamogeton, on 
the stems and submerged pa'ts of which a black water-planarian— the only one 
met with during the Expedition — was crawling about. Large Nepa-like insects, 



two inches in lengtli, Notonectiis, water lieetles, minute cyprids and uioUubcs 
Bucli as Ancylus nnd Bulinus mrvde up the water fauna; there wore no fish in 
aay of tbe pools to the south of the range nor were there any frogs to be seen 
or henrd. 

From tlie water-hole the rocks rose with precipitous sides over which at one 
point there was evidently in rainy seasons a waterfall coining down from e, rocky 
gorge above. Outside the hollow in which was our camp the aoutbom face of the 
hills though sleep could be climbed and the gorge above the water-pool was found 
to be occupied by a succession of small holes surrounded by bare rock. Kvtdently 
during the rainy season these upper [>ools are scoured out and so they conbiined 
very little in the way of animal life. Amongst the rocks the usual pines and iig 
trees were growing, and a few plants of Hibbtrtia glabberima with its striking 
yellow flower, the largest of the genus. On the whole range grew plenty of 
porcupine grass, in fact we found this ranging from the sandhills right to the 
very summit of tbe highest mountains. In the gorge above the lower pool were 
numbers of pot-boles evidently worn out by the grinding action of the stones 
swept into tbem when the floods came down from the hilts. In one of them was 
a snake {Pseudonaja affinii). 

From tbe top of the escarpment we could see the range running away east 
and west with its series of bold blufis rising one behind tbe other. Westward it 
terminated in a high scarped hill called by Giles, Carmichoul Crag. Out to the 
south stretched the sandhills, with Mulga and Mallee scrub on tbe flats, and here 
and there a low ridge of Silurian sandstone standing out above tbe surrounding 
country ; while the creeks could be traced iiinning away from the range one after 
the other with their fringe of gum trees dying away in the distance. 

On tbe hard sandy flats skirting the range we found an abundance of mice 
and jerboa-rats. Each of them makes a hole in the ground just big enough to 
admit tbe body and from this the burrow goes down for perhaps three or four 
feet. In the mice burrows {Mus gouldi) were more than one adult with yourig 
ones, usually four in number. In the jerboa burrows {Hapalolis mitckelli) there 
was never mora than one adult, with sometimes two broods of young ones also 
usually four in number. 

The jerboa-rat, as is welt known, has developed curiously long hind legs just 
like many of the marsupials, in fact when they are travelling it is not easy to 
distinguish in colour, size and mode of progression a Hapalotis from an Ante- 
chinomys. Both live in the same class of country — hard sandy ground covered 



with tussocks of grass a.}u\ scrub composed of Mulgas, Cossius and Acacias of 
various kinds. 

Tlic little tnico, which live side by side with the Hnpalotis, thrive just n£ well 
a^ they do, though they huve not taken on the curious mode of progression 
adopttxl by the latter and can apparently cover the ground just as rapidly as the 
jerboa-rat can. As pointed out elsewhere (Part II., Zoology, p. 41), the advantnge 
of this mode of travelling would appear to consist not so much in the greater 
speed attainable as in the greater difficulty which their enemies— the birds of 
prey — probably find in pouncing down upon and seizing a small aninial progressing 
by leaps and bounds. The Antechinomys is mainly an insectivorous and the 
Hapalotis an herbivorous animal, but whilst tiie latter is to be obtained in 
liundreds it is only very rarely indeed that the former is secured, and in fact, 
though searching in favourable country, we only obtained two specimens during 
the Expedition. Though far from common, it has however a considerable range, 
OS sp(«imens have been secured at Charlotte Waters, Hermaniisburg and Alice 
Springs, and it doubtless exists in very small numbers all through the hard, sandy, 
scrub covered flats of the interior. 

Whilst at Reedy Creek I had a good opportunity of witnessing the tracking 
powers of the blacks. I was out in the scrub with three of them when suddenly 
they came to a standstill and after carefully examining the hard ground they 
became very excited. On asking what was the matter they told me that there 
was an emu aljout with six young ones. The three then separated and commenced 
to track it up. They went on a trot the whole time ; not a word was spoken but 
where the scrub was thin they communicated with each other by signs. Aftvr 
two miles' run, during which it was quite enough for me to do to keep up with 
them and to look after my collecting material without troubling to look after 
tracks which I could not detect, they came to a sudden halt, and there in an open 
patch in front of us was the motlier emu with its six young ones. The motlier at 
oAce made off, but, shouting and laughing, the blacks soon caught the young ones 
and we brought them back to camp and cunied them alive for some hundreds of 
miles on camel back. The ground was so hard that only an experienced white 
man would have detected the tracks of the old bird, but it did not take the 
blacks more than a minute's careful eKaminution of the very faint tracks to come 
to the conclusion as to the correct number of young ones. If they had had their 
spears with them the old bird would certainly have been captured. Their keenness 
and suppressed excitement when on the track were worth seeing, as well as their 
childish glee when they were successful. 



A little to the west of Reedy Creek was another gorge amongst the hills out 
from which flowed Penny Creek, On the rocks enclosing it were growing at one 
spot a considerable number of Cycads in fruit {Enceplmlartos Mncdonntlli). 

Ctc*D8 (Eneephalarios MardanntUij. 

The species is confiaed to the Higher Steppes of the cenbrul region and this 
was the first occasion on which we had seen it Growing right on the face of the 
rock, where it would scarcely be thought that there was earth enough to afford 
sustenance for so lai^ a plant, they look very picturesque. The older ones have 
a stem some three or four feet high from the top of which springs a crown of dark 
green, graceful, palm-like fronds, each of which may be as much as ten feet long. 

The gorge led away back into the range, and climbing over the rocka we 
mode our way, disturbing several rock wallabies {Pelregale lateralis) as we did so, 
along a narrow cleft not more than a yard wide and in parts fully one hundred 
feet in depth, and then clambering down the steep face of a cliff found ourselves in 
an upper part of the gorge, where the rocks in colour and weathering mimicked 
on a small scale the caflons of the Colorado district. 

In rainy seasons the water must pour in torrents down the narrow bed of 
this upper part of the gorge, but now there were only small pools amongst tlio 
rocks the sides of which lower down, where the valley broadened out somewhat, 
were thick with i-ushea and Aspidium. One or two new specii^s of Molluscs were 
secured and also a curious Orthopteran insect resembling a small flattened-out 



cockroAch which clung almost aa closelj to the Burfnce of submerged leaves as a 
limpet to a rock. It was ovi<lently mature and adiipt«d to life in the water, and 
we only cume across it in this one small pool. 

Unfortunately we could only fipend an hour or two in this spot, which would 
well repay a stay of several days, and if we were to reach nnd have any time in 
the main McDonnell RangD it was essential for us to lose as little time as possible, 
more especially as it had been decided that a small section of the party wiis to 
make a flying visit to Ayers Rock lying away to the south across the sandhill 
country. Had we then known what the main McDonnell Range was like there is 
no doubt but that we should have lingered longer amongst the valleys and by the 
creeks on the south side of the George Gill Range, 

Close by our camp at Reedy Creek the natives had been ornamenting the 
rocks with drawings, the moat elaborate of which was supposed to represent a 
view seen from beneath of an Emu sitting on eggs with the characteristic, 
conventional, three-pronged markings representing the emu tracks leading up to it. 

In making their drawings the blacks seem to usually use four colours — black 
(charcoal), red and yellow ochre and white gypsum. A fifth colour — pink — in 
sometimes obtained by mixing the red ochre with gypsum. Somewhere to tht) 
south of the Levi Range is a patch of red ochre, which amongst the natives is a 
valuable asset and b traded over considerable distAnces. 

On 16th June we divided into two parties. The main camp with all the 
camels and stores, accompanied by Dr. Stirling, Professor Tate and Mr. Winnecke^ 
went westwards along the base of the Range. Their intention was to go first to 
Laurie Creek, lying out to the west of Carmichael Crag, and then to push 
northwards by way of Glen Edith across the sandhill country to the western end 
of the main McDonnells. Then following these eastwards the whole party was to 
meet again in about a fortnight at the deserted Glen Helen Station close to 
the base of Mounts Zeil and Sender. The second party, on horseback and 
equipped as lightly as possible, was to go south under the leadership of Mr. R C. 
Cowle across Lake Amadeus and then visit and photograph Ayers Rock and if 
possible Mount Olga. This party consisted of Mr. Cowle, the leader, and Messrs. 
Watt, Belt and myself, together with one of Mr. Cowle's black police trackers, 
I^rry by name. 

I gladly take this opportunity oE expressing our appreciation of the cordial 
manner in which Mr. Cuwic fell in with our plans and aided us in our work which 



must «t times have appeared Homewhat Btrange bat which could not have been 
carried out except hj bis help. I am personally, as will be seen by reference bo 
the Zoological report, very much indebted to Mr. Cowle's exertions in procuring; 
specimens of interesting animalB such as the honey ants, full series of which we 
had not the opportunity of securing during the Expedition. It may also be 
added here that throughout the Expedition we received the moat ungruilging 
and valuable help from all with whom we came in contact. 



The Desert Country. 
From the George Gill Range to Ayers Rock and Mount Olga. 

Our Gc)ulpm«i(— Pbotagrnphlng In Ccntnl Anstnlla -IV^wrtare from Heedy Cmk— Gunp lor the Night aftrr 
Invelllii): sixteen in[l«— auidhlll Gum Ttt«— WIniull's lUdgc. tbe moat Southem Outcrop wen ot Silurlin 
Quutiitr— The Plturl PItnt— Usm \t> which li fa put by tbo Bliclie— Kuuum'a Well— A moct unlikely Spot 
lor Water— Tbo Remains ol n brokiMi doim Mound Siirlnv— DlngoCB In Van WaWr— Roch Lake Amtideui it 
Sunwt—Cron the Salt Bed and Camp on the South Side— The Preaent State ot Dealccalion of the t^e 
AmvlcuB Am— Leave Lake Amadeua-Coulthord's Well-Travel nil Day over Forcoplne Saiidhilla and In the 
Altcmaon tteoch Aycra Bock— Vluw ot the Boek [roiii the Sandhllle- Camp by a Snuill Water-hole In a Chaan 
In the Rock— 14d Femument Water at Ayen Rock— Spend the Day round the Rock— Native nrawlnga on the 
Walla of Sinoll Cavea-Uoney Anta-Tadpolea ol Helloponu pictua in the Water-hoIo-Vlcw oeroaa the Floina 
lovanJa Haunt OI)m at Sumst— A Family olS^indhlll Blacka-Rideacrosi the Plain to Mount Olga -Camp 
at the Entixnee to a Deep Ravine— TIetken'a Harked Trcca— Kc Permanent Water at Mount 0\^ : only a 
Small Rock-Pool now rcuiainlnf[~Caiup ol Wild Blacka-Rlde back to Ayera Rock -CooklnH or a Kangarw 
by tbe Blacks— Return to the Oeorve OUI Ran)(e— tncrcan or the Water In Bogot Creek-CroadnK the 
Georire Oill Range— Petermann Pound— Ciwa the Station Range and reach Tempe Downa- Leav^ Tempo 
Downi and follovr the Walker back to the Palmer— The Gorgei along the Pahiier— Low Temperature at 
HIght Thue— A Large Tuaaock ol Potruplne Orua- Follow the Palmer up to the Miaolamuy Plain and 
(Damp doM to Pine Point— A New Spcdea □! Gram Tree— Sporodia DlaUibutlon ol Certain Spedea of 
Ptonti- The Mlialonary Plalna—aoaie Range— Rock Pigeoua— Camp In the Soothem MoDonnell UiUa— 
In the Homing Join the Main Party at tlie Old Glen Helen Station. 

We had with us in lulditioii to our riding horses two pack horses carrying our 
provisions, a Emiill supply of water and not least in importance the crunera, the 
careful pocking of which, to prevent its being completely smnslied up as tbe horses 
jogged on or sometimes ci-nshed through the Mulgn scrub, wits not an easy matter. 
Photographing in Central Australia when on the march from day to day is not 
altogether pleasant or easy. Tlie light is intense and extra precautions must be 
taken to prevent light fogging of the plates ; but worse than this is the dry heat 
which was so great during the day time— though at nights tbo temperature was 
below zero — that it requires a specially well mode camera to stand the combined 
strain of continuous knocking about and the great range in temperature. I had 
two cameras with me — a whole and a quarter plate, the latter fitted with an 
Eastman roll bolder. Both cameras were made by Messrs. Watson and Sons, and 
each of them had before this been taken over some of the roughest parts of 
Victoria and Tasmania. They were not specially chosen for the work, than which 
nothing could have afforded a more severe test ; but, except for external disfigure- 
ment owing to their being thrown off the bock of a camel, they suffered little 
damage and served their purpose admirably. 



The jogging of the horses and camels is very liable to smasli plates — I lost 
neaily two dozen of mine in tills way — and fine sand grains penetrate everything 
and often scratch the film. It is almost impossible to avoid this in Central 
Australia, as they get into the dark slide and upon the plates when you are 
changing them. To avoid this as far as possible I adopted the plan suggested to 
me by Mr. Horn of putting over the interior of the dark slides a coat of vaseline, 
to which the aand grains adhered. 

After giving the horses a last drink at Reedy Creek as it was by no means 
sure when they would get their next, we started out southwards soon after midday. 
Our track lay across ForcupiueKiovered sandhills with intervening flats covered 
with Mulga and Desert Oaks. Every now and again were low-lying and scrub- 
covered sandstone rises, and away to the north we could see the high ranges 
stretching east and west Out beyond Carmicbael Crag was a big smoke made 
by the maid party. 

After travelling some sixteen miles we crossed the end of King Creek, where 
the dry bed becomes lost amongst the sandhills and the line of Red gums 
disappears, and shortly after sundown camped for the night on a hard, dry clay- 

We had breakfast before daylight and just at sunrise the black boy brought 
in the horses and we started off. All the morning we were traversing low sand- 
hills, on many of which grew a fine sandhill gum, E. eudesmoides, which reached a 
height of 50 to 80 feet. The trunk is silver-grey in colour and very shiny, except 
the butt where it is covered with a paper-like bark which peels off in long, yellow- 
brown scales. The grey-green foliage usually forms ^ kind of umbrella-shaped 
mass, and it is somewhat strange to find a big tree like this right out amongst the. 
waterless sandhills. 

About twelve miles south of our camp we passed by the eastern end of 
Wiimall's Kidge, which forms a narrow Silurian quartzite hill rising abruptly, 
with a well-marked escarpment, some three miles long on its north side. It forms 
the most southern outcrop of Silurian quartzite which we came across in our 
journey. The height of the ridge is about 1700 feet above sea level, and tliat of 
the escarpment at its eastern end about 200 feet. On the sandhills round about, 
the Pituri plant, Dubohia Hopwoodii, was growing. It forms a small, stiff shrub 
usually about four or five feet high with coriaceous, lanceolat« leaves which are 
used in some ports by the blacks as a narcotic, and as an article of trade it has 
considerable value amongst them. In this part they seem to prefer the native 



tobacco plant, Nicolianum sitaveolens. They either simply roll a few of the leaves 
together and then suck or chew them, or else cut the leaves up finely and mix 
them with ash obtained from burning the leaves and twigs of a bush, preferably 
a Cassia. The leaves and ash are made up into little plugs, which are held when 
sucked so as just to protrude through the lips. The chewed moss when not in use 
is tucked in safely amongst the well-greased ringlets. If you put your hand up to 
your mouth and pretend to suck something a black fellow will at once know what 
you mean, and will in all friendliness offer you his well-used packet of tobacco 
leaves or his "plug" for a "chew." 

The chief use of the Fituri plant in this neighbourhood (apart from its value 
as an article of barter) seems to be that of making a decoction for the purpose of 
stupefying and then catching the omu. The leaves are pounded in water and the 
decoction is placed in a wooden vessel where the emu is likely to come across it, 
or else a small pool or a fenced-off portion of a lai^r one is used for the purpose. 
After drinking it up the animal becomes so stupefied that it falls an easy victim 
to the blackfellow's spear. 

Just to the south of Winnall's Ridge lies a small flat in which, surrounded by 
tea-tree, is a small native well, known to the white man as Kamaran's Well and to 
the blacks as UnterpStA. The accidental discovery of this small water supply by 
Eamaran, one of Ooese's men, was the means of enabling the latter to cross this 
otherwise waterless track. It lies right amongst the sandhills where the existence 
of a spring would never be expected. 

The well is evidently the remains of a broken down mound spring and has 
the form of a hole some Eourteon feet deep and perhaps ten feet across at the top, 
the walls slanting steeply down until at the bottom, where lies a pool of water, tt 
is not more than tour or five feet across, It is formed in a deposit of Travertine, 
the remnant of what was once a mound with a spring at the top ; the gradual 
desiccation of the Amadeus basin has gone on until now the underground supply 
is so small that the water in the S|iring does not reach the surface. With 
continued desiccation the water will gradually disappear altogether. 

We approached it in the hope of finding a supply for ourselves and still more 
one for the horses, but to the disappointment of man and beast alike we found it 
simply stinking with the bodies of five dead dingoes who had ventured into it in 
search of water and had evidently been too weak to cinmber out. All that wc 
oould do was to drag out the decomposing carcases in the hope tbat it would be a 
little better on our return. 



Travelling on after a short halt we came just at dusk to the top of a sandhill 
and saw I^ke Atnodeua lying nt our feet. It was a strange sight ; the bed of the 
lake was here only some three-quarters of a mile wide, but east and west it 
stretched away to the horizon, widening out, especially westwards, into a vast 
sheet many miles across. There was not a speck of water, only a dead level 
surface of white salt standing out against the rich after glow in the west and the 
dull sky to the east, whilst north and south it was hemmed in by low hills 
covered with dark scrub. 

It was at this spot that the lake bad first been crossed by Gosse and shortly 
afterwards by Oil^ the latter having been previously baffled in his attempts to 
cross owing to the boggy nature of the ground. By good luck, as Mr. Cowle who 
bad previously been across, was aware the bed was dry and passable, and 
dismounting we led our horses over with little trouble, and just as it grew dark 
camped on the top of a low rise on the south side. 

Everything was perfectly silent ; there was no sign of animal life except for a 
solitary gaunt-looking dingo which followed us half-way across, and the white 
sheet of salt seen in the darkness through the sharp, thin stems of the Mulga 
looked strangely weird. 

One could not help thinking of the contrast between the silence and sterility 
of the scene as we looked down upon it now and the fertility and abundance of 
life which must once have characterised it when in bygone ages it was a great 
sheet of fresh water surrounded with a rich and varied forest growth amongst 
which browsed huge diprotodons and birds as large as the New Zealand Moa. 

The day had been hot and somewhat fatiguing, and as this was the second 
night out for the horses without water tbey had to be tied up to prevent them 
from wanderijig far away in search of food and drink, as there was another still 
harder day's work in store for them before, as we hoped, they would get water at 
Ayers Rock. 

After breakfasting by starlight we left the lake and riding through the scrub, 
in which we passed a mound-bird's nest {Letpoa ocellata), came after some ten miles 
to another native well called by the blacks Kurtitino. ThiB,*just like Unterpata, 
is a hole in Travertine. It ia however much smaller than the latter— just large 
enough to comfortably allow of a man getting down. The main hole curves 
somewhat and then at a depth of ten feet there lies to one side a smaller hole 
running down for two feet more in which was a little damp black mud. This was 
scooped out in the hope that a little water might trickle in before our return. 



Riding on all day long we kept mounting one sandhill aFt«i' aiiuther, all 
covered with tusaocka of Porcupine graM, amongat wliicU the kiingaroarats, 
Bettongia lestuuri, kept dodging in and out with remarkable speed and agility. 

Whilst we were riding along in this part of the country our attention was 
drawn by Mr. Cowie to a small rat-like creature which was running about, and 
dismounting we captured it after a smnrt chnae, during which it ran across from 
tussock to tussock. It turned out to be one of the most interesting of the new 
animals found during the Expedition. It is a new species of the genus Smin- 
thopsia, which includes the pouched mice, most of which are ground animals, in 
contrast to those of the closely allied genus Phascologale which are usually 
described as being arboreal in their habits. In reality this is only partly true as 
there are species of Phascologale such as the crest-tailed Phascologale (/*. cristi- 
caudd) and the fat-tailed pouched mouse {P. JiiacdonnelUnsis), which are undoubtedly 
fossorial in habit ; as a general rule also the species of Phascologale in addition 
to having somewhat more stoutly built feet than those of Sminthopsia, have 
a number of striated pads on the sole which are doubtless of use to then) in 
climbing. The little animal now captured for the first time has from iU 
living arooQgat the sandhills been called Sminthopiis psammopkilus. It must 
evidently be able to exist without any supply of water other than what it 
gete either from the moisture in its food or else perhaps from the heavy dews 
which fait during certain seasons of the year, and it was the only small marsupial 
which we saw running about during the day time, for most of them are strictly 

Between the sandhills, some of which were a hundred feet high whilst all ran 
in a general north-east and south-west direction, were small flats covered with 
funereal-looking Desert oaks, and whore the harder surface of the ground afforded 
some little relief to the horses, whose feet and legs were tired and sore with toiling 
over the heavy sandhills on which the Porcupine could not be avoided. 

This Porcupine grass, which is often incorrectly spoken of as "Spinifex" in 
the writings of many of the explorers of Central Australia is one of the most 
serious obstacles met with in travelling across the desert region of the southern 
part of the interior. Each tussock when young resembles more than anything else 
a gigantic pincushion with the pins represented by long knitting needles radiating 
in all directions. As the tussock grows older and increases in size the inner parts 
die away leaving a circular rim the diameter of which may be as much as nine or 
twelve feet. The young leaves are flat, but as they gradually dry each rolls up 
into a stiff, needle-like cylinder. In one species { Triodia pungens) they are covered, 
as described before, with a very sticky varnish, Not only do these tussocks ot 





Porcupine grass grow so closely together timt it ia impossible for horses or camels 
trnvelliog through them to Avoid having their legs severely irritated hy the pointed 
lenves, bub the sandy triKts which they inhabit are destitute of water. 

PoRCUPIKB Obasb (Triodia pungens). 

It was with no little relief anil pleasure, that after traversing more than 
thirty miles of sandhills since leaving Lake Amadeus in the morning, we reached 
the top oE the last one and saw the Bock not far away. 

Ayers Rock is probably one of the most striking objects in Central Australia. 
From where we stood the level scrub stretched away monotonously east, west and 
south to the horizon. Above the yellow sand and dull green Mulga rose the 
Rock— a huge dome-shaped monolith, brilliant Venetian red in colour. A mile in 
length, with its sides rising precipitously to a height of eleven hundred feet above 
the plain,'* it stands out in lonely grandeur against the clear sky. Its otherwise 
smooth sides ure furrowed by deep lines of rounded holes rising in tiers one above 
the other and looking as if they had been hollowed out by a series of great 
cascades down which for many centuries the water in the rain seasons must have 
poured in torrents from the smooth dome-shaped summit. 

We rode on to its base and camped in a deep chasm in the western face by 
the side of a small water-hole. After three days' travelling witliout water over 
heavy Porcupine sandhills it was no small pleasure to watch the horses drink their 
fill, and it was also somewhat of a relief to find that there was water and that we 
could ourselves afford to drink without stint To fully appreciate a wash also one 

• l(a total height above Bin Ie> el ia i5<XI [evt. 



needs to liuvc travelled for two or three days at least in hot weather over sandy 
country without any water to spare for such a purpose. Perhaps after a certain 
len(;th of abstinence the desire to wash passes away, hut we hod just had long 
enough away from water to make us appreciate it from this point of view to 
the full. 

Giles in " Australia twice traversed "* speaks of there being permanent water 
at Ayers Rock. Mi-. Cowle, who had previously visited the Rock, found the 
water supply at the time of our visit considerably diminished, in fact no wat«r 
was coming down from the rock, and it could only be a question of time as to 
when the two or three already small but fortunately sheltered holes around the 
base would he completely dried up. 

Portion or Atbbs Bock showino a Dbtackbd Coltthm. 

In a dry season it would be very unsafe indeed to rely upon finding water at 
Ayers Rock, the nearest permanent pool to which is some eighty-five miles away 
to the north (in a straight line) in the Ueorge Gill Range, across the desert 
sandhill country in the midst of which ties Lake Amadeus. If the latter were not 
passable then a long detour would have to be mode to get round its eastern end. 

Our camping ground was in the deep chasm referred to before, and lying 
down in the open at night we could see just a small patch of sky overhead, shut in 
by the rocks which overhung so as to form almost a funnel, narrowing from below 

• VoLli, p. 62. 



The next day we spent quietly in the neighbourhood of the rock. Seen from 
the distance it looks like a great solid mass, but when close to it there are found 
to be A number of huge, bluff-like masses which stand out each wiUi its smooth, 
rounded summit melting ahove into the main central mass. The weathering has 
made the surface curiously smooth. The rock peels off in thin flakes, but at the 
same time weathering on a larger scale is taking place. Close to our camp was a 
great curved column (shown in the accompanying illustration) two hundred feet 
high and eight feet wide, separating off from the surface the contour of which it 
followed. Except at its upper and lower ends it was quite free from the rock and 
looked like a huge flying buttress. In course of time it would slip down and 
break up Into big masses like those which were everywhere lying round about 
the base of the mountain. 

In parts also the face hod weathered so as to produce a curious netted or curtain 
appearance due to the presence of a network of more resistent material in tbe 
arkose sandstone of which the rock is formed. Small caves were plentiful in parts 
aud the walls of these liad been ornamented by the natives with drawings of hands 
and human faces and various animals. Some of the latter such as those of snakes 
and dingoes were rect^nisable, whilst others were apparently only conventional 
patterns, such as intertwined or continuous curves not without artistic feeling and 
suggesting the rudiments of designs which might in course of time become 
developed into elaborate, interlaced ornamentations. The colours were the usual 
red, yellow, black and white, and nowhere did we see any trace of blue such as has 
been described as occurring in native drawings from further north. 

After spending the morning in wandering round the rock, photographing it 
and copying many of the drawings, a number of which are reproduced in tbe 
Anthropology report, w© went out into the Mulga scrub in search of honey ants. 
Evidently this is a favourite hunting ground of the blacks, as the scrub was in 
parts thick with mounds of earth which they had thrown up when digging out the 
nesta. A native woman armed only with a yam stick will dig down to a depth of 
a few feet in a surprisingly short space of time, breaking up the earth with the 
stick held in the right hand while in the left a small pitcbi is held and used as a 
shovel to clear the loosened earth away. 

The honey ant nest is not indicated on the suriace by any mound. There is 
simply a hole perhaps an inch or more la length, and from this the central burrow 
which is about three^uarters of an inch in diameter runs down vertically with 
horizontal passages leading off at intervab after a depth of perhaps two feet has 
been reached. In the nest which we dug up during that afternoon, a few honey 



ants were found in each of these horizontAl passages. Tbej are quite incapable of 
movement, their small bodies looking like little appendages of the swollen abtlomeii, 
which has the appearance of an almost transparent bladder with the hard lergit 
and sterna forming dark bands across it on the upper and under surface. 

When the nest was disturbed the workers made no attempt to hide the honey 
ante, in fact it would be a matter of considerable difficulty to move these as the 
burrow is not hirge enough to allow tuany ants to work at once, and it would take 
the conibined efforts of a fair number to carry off one of their honey pots. 

The larger number of honf^y ants is apparently to be found near the bottom 
of the burrow, which may go down for a depth of "five or six feet. Unfortunately 
we could not lind the winged forms, but these have since been stint to me by 
Mr. E, C. Cowle, who has spent a considerable time in securing them under 
difficulties which can only be appreciated by those who have attempted to collect 
in such a district as Central Australia during summer time. The commonest 
form, the nest of which we examined, was firat described by Sir John Lubbock 
under the name of Camponolus inflatus and is called by the natives Yarnimpa. 
The blacks are very fond of it and the women or lubras dig it up in scores from 
the hard sandy ground in Mulga scrub, though it is only found in certain localities. 

Mr. Cowle's efforts have resulted in securing two new species during the past 
year, which have been described by Mr. Froggatt under the names of Camponolus 
cowlei and C. tnidas. More than thirty species of the genus, which is world-wide 
in its distribution, are known in Australia, hut there are as yet only three of 
them in which the curiously modified individuals are known to exist. Of C. cowkt 
I found a few specimens in a small nest under a block of quartzite in the 
McDonnell Range, but the splendid series since secured by Mr. Cowle at Illamurta 
in the James Range, includes all the various forms. The body is a golden colour 
with the terga and sterna orange-tinted and they do not appear to reach the size 
of the honey ante of the species C. tnfialus. In C. midas, the specimens of which 
I owe entirely to Mr. Cowle, the individuals do not appear to become anything 
like so much inflated as in both of the other species, and the honey ant, though 
swollen out, is probably capable of a certain amount of movement 

Honey ants similarly modified to those found in Australia have been described 
by Mr. W. Wesmael as occurring in Mexico and by Mr. H. 0. M'Cook in 
Colorado. In each case they exist in dry, arid country and the modified 
individuals may perhaps be regarded as specially cohnected with the nature of 
the surroundings. Just as bees store up honey in combs and use it when food 



is scarce, so these anU store up honey, not in combs, but in the bodies of certain 
members of the community. The head and thorax of the animal remain unchanged, 
but the crop lying in the abdomen becomes enonnously inflated, and it is in this 
that the honey is stored up 'When required for use the other ants are said to 
come and tap the sides of tlie swollen abdomen with their feet, and in response to 
this stimulus the honey is passed in drops out of the mouth of the modified honey 
ant and is then eaten by the others. 

In the water-hole close to our camp iM-ge tadpoles were swimming about. 
There was no sign of any adult frog to be seen or heard, but of course they must 
have been in hiding somewhere not far ofl* as there was no permanent water 
within more than eighty miles and no frog could possibly live in the sterile desert 
country which stretches far out in alt directions around the Rock, and the 
dietance was far too great for the eggs to have been carried by birds. Tlie 
tadpoles belong to the species Helioporus picfus, which in these pzirts, as elsewhere, 
burrows and -so can affbrd to wait quietly during the intervals, often tasting 
several months, which elapse between successive rainfalls and during a part of 
which time — how long will depend entirely upon the length of the drought— there 
can be no water at Ayers Rock. 

The water slieltered in the deep chasm was so cold that the rate of develop- 
ment of the frogs would be very slow, and this very coldness of the spot and 
consequent slow rate of evaporation would allow a much longer time for 
development than if the water were more exposed and consequently evaporated 
more rapidly, as it does in the pools on the open Steppe lands. 

Towards evening we climbed a little way up the face of the rock at the 
solitary spot where the slope is suificiently gradual to allow of an ascent being 
made for even a short distance. Tlie only white man who has ever scaled tlie 
rock is Mr. Gosse, and the climb is at l^est a perilous one as the least slip is fatal, 
and there are only thin Scales peeling off which afford any surface rough enough 
for holding on to by either bands or feet. How steep the slope is can easily be 
realised by reference to the illustration. 

We were looking out to the west : at our feet the sandy plain was dotted 
with thin scrub and away in the distance it was crossed by dark patches, 
where mile after mile, the thick Mulga scrub stretched across. The level line of 
the horizon was only broken by the great, dome-shaped masses of Mount Olgo, 
behind which the sun was setting. For a short time the harsh features of the 
desolate plains were softened by the warm colours of the after glow, and Mount 



0)ga Btood out US a purple mass in strong relief f^inst the oruiige sky. It was a 
scene perfectly typical of the Australian desert at sunset, and to complete it as 
we looked down wo saw a family of ihe native sandhill blacks making their way 
round the base of the mountain towards our camp. 

On reaching the latter we found that onr black l>oy had come across the 
family, which consisted of a man, two women and several younger ones, out in the 
scrub and had brought them in. None of them had ever seen a white man before 
and the women were in a state of great fright when they saw us, but the man soon 
became accustomed to us and when the first shyness had worn off proved to be the 
most loquacious individual I have ever met Naturally he could not realize that 
liis remarks were perfectly unintelligible to us, but by aid of our black boy as 
interpreter we managed after a time to understand what he told us. Our provi- 
sions were on too limited a scale to allow of anything like extravagance, but a 
little fat and sugar went a long way towards establishing what, had circumstances 
permitted of it, would have been on his part a life-long friendship. They made 
their ciimp a little way from ours and we spent the evening after our notes were 
writtou up in questioning our newly found friend, whose name was Lungkarll- 

Mount Oloa. 

EUrly next morning we started off on horseback to visit Mount Olga, our 
black friend accompanying us on foot The country was dry and desolate in the 
extrenie, with alternating heavy sandy ground covered with Porcupine grass and 
dense Mulga scrub. As we neared the mountain it was seen to consist, as shown 
in tile illustration (Plate 8), of a large number of huge rounded masses arising 
from an elevated base and separated from one another by deep ravines. 

We steered our course for the southern end, where there was apparently the 
highest dome-shaped mass, and rouniUng this just at sunset we turned into a 
magnificent ravine the sides of which rose precipitously for a height of 1500 feet.* 
The rocks were quite bare and of the nsual red colour with great streaks of black 
looking just as if enormous cauldrons of molten tar had been emptied on to their 
rounded summits and had flowed down the sides. The black and red were relieved, 
here and there, by large patches of green apparently duo to lichens growing on the 

• Harp Umh woo [eetiaaU above sea kvd. 





At the entrance to the ravine were two trees marked respectively -— and 
- and this showed ua that we were in Tietken'a old cnmpiDg ground. We came 
across the rvmains of boxes which were evidently the relics of the four left 
behind by Mr. Tiekens in 1889 ; there was no trace tu be found of the cauiel 
pack-Boddles which he left, though possibly a bar of iron which we saw in a 
black's camp near the rock may have been obtained from them. In the scrub we 
saw on the hard sandy ground undoubted traces of his camel tracks. 

A gum creek flows away into the sandhill country out tu the south'West, but 
here again there is no such thing as permanent water ; there was evidently much 
less than when Giles and Tietkens visited ttie rock. The blacks assured us that 
the only water anywhere at the time of our visit about Alount Olga was to be 
found where we were camped, and leading our horses over the smooth rocks 
forming the floor of the rapidly narrowing ravine, which was in all about a 
quarter of a mile in length, we came upon u solitary small pool. It was just a 
rock-pool with no permanent supply and evidently could not lost much longer 
unless replenished by rahis, and we were thankful to find enough to water the 
horses. It is of course quite possible that there were other small pools which the 
blacks discreetly said nothing about, but there is certainly no permanent water; 
the pools described by Giles and Tietkens were at the time of our visit either 
dried up or much smaller than when they visited Mount Olgo, at which tune a 
stream was flowing over the rocky bed and out on to the loamy flats beyond, but 
now except just for this one pool everything was as dry as possible. 

In certain respects Mount Olga is alruost more impressive than Ayers Rock : 
it has the form of a number of huge masses like the latter thrown together and 
separated from one another by deep ravines. The rock in each case has weathered 
into smooth, dome-tike structures, and these rise perpendicularly to a height of 
1500 feet directly above the flat plains which surround them, so that they appear 
to be much higher than they really are. 

Unlike Ayers Rock, which is composed of sandstone which has undergone a 
considerable amount of metamorphosis until now it has a striking resemblance to 
a granite, Mount Olga Is made up of a coarse conglomerate and is probably younger 
in age than Ayers Rock. 

Whilst riding across between the two we had suddenly emerged from a belt 
of scrub into a patch of more open ground and came upon a small camp of blacks 
living in their " wnrlies," each of which was simply a lean-to made of branches 
which served as a protection from the weather. Tliese sandhill blacks had never 



seen a white man before, and in their alarm one or two of the men seized their 
speiirs and poised them on their womeras or apear- throwers, but fortunately 
Lungkartitukukana's powerful voice was heard just in time to prevent what would 
have been an uncomfortable reception for ourselves. They evidently thought that 
mail and beatit were one creature, and when the latter came in two and we dis- 
mounted they wei'e much alarmed and sat down huddled together — the women 
and one or two of the younger men crying from fear. However we reassured them 
as well HE we could and tliey promised to come U> our camp, but as soon as we 
were out of sight in the scrub they tuok all their worldly possessions and fled up 
one of the lower bills flanking the main mass, and there as the darkness came on 
we saw their camp Ares dotted about. 

Much to oitr regret we had no time to explore the mountains, as our arrange- 
ments left us only just time to join the main party at Uleu Helen in the McDonnell 
KiLnges at the dat« previously 6xed upon. After taking a photograph of the 
ravine, the light for which was unfortunately very bad, we started back towards 
Ayers Rock. 

A great deal of persuasion and shouting was necessary in order to bring the 
blacks down from the mountains. Lungkartitukukann exerted himself to the 
uttermost, and the contortions of his body whilst he forced out a volume of high- 
pitched sound were most remarkabla 

At length we saw thorn coming down and after treating them to a little sugar 
and fat and the remains of very hard "johnny-cakes" and presenting theni each 
with a few matches — a valuable present — and a little tobacco they became reas- 
sured. The men woPe the emu-feather " chignons," fi-equently seen in tliis part of 
the country. These are pads about ten inches in length, six in breadth and two 
in thickness, made up of emu featliers matted together in much the same way as 
in the Interliita or feather shoes worn by the Kurdaitcha. They are tied on to 
the back of the head with string made of opossum fur, and into the upper angle on 
each side is stuck a skewer of wood with a little tuft of the white tips of the rabbit- 
bandicoot (Peragaie lagotis) tails, which they call Alpito, or else a tuft of feathers, 
often of the Eagle-hawk. In addition to tlie opossum string the chignon is 
attached to the hair by means of sharp-pointed pieces of wallaby and kangaroo 

One man was carrying a small bag of skin, probably of the rat-kangaroo, tied 
round with hair string and containing, apart from his girdle, shield and womera, 
bis worldly possessions. These consisted of a tuft of emu feathers for corrobboree 



purposes, n few odd tits of flint and pieces of kangaroo and emu tendon and also a 
rather fine tuft of Peragale tail tips belonginfi; to his wife and forming lier dress 
and ornament on special occasions. As his wife was not with him and he hud 
evidently considerable misgivings as to what might happen if without her consent 
he parted with her belongings, I had great difficulty in persuading him to barter 
the little bag and its contents and had eventually to part with my sheath knife to 
secure it. It was in this camp that we found the iron bar previously referred to, 
which, as the blacks had never seen a white man before, had probably been taken 
from Tietken's pack saddle and adapted as a yam>stick, though of course it is quite 
possible that it might have I>een traded down from further north. 

After the blacks had become friendly three more of them insisted upon follow, 
ing na across to Ayers Rock, and without any difficulty at all kept up with us for 
the whole of the twenty-two miles which we traversed through the scrub and sand- 
hills. On the way over we photographed the Range, the eastern face of which 
must be fully live or six miles in length, and set fire to tracts of Porcupine grass. 
As soon as these are ignited the hawks assemble, though none are to be seen 
before, and pounce down upon the smaller animals such as lizards which are driven 
out of the burning grass. 

After reaching our old camp at Ayers Rock there was still an honr or two of 
daylight left and Mr. Watt and myself went out to make a further investigation 
of the caves with their native drawings. On the rocks we found a few fig trees 
and Acacias and the Gastrolobium plant growing, which in certain parte of the 
Central district is very destructive to cattle which readily feed upon it and are 
poisoned. Alt round the base of the western face of the rock grow very fine 
specimens of Amcta salicina with its light green drooping foli^e, and the kangaroo 
grass reaches a height of six feet or more. 

As we wandered bock to camp at sunset the scene was exceptionally beautiful. 
On the ground the tall, light yellow grass and the green Acacias stood out in 
strong contrast to the venetian-red rocks which rose perpendicularly for nearly a 
thousand feet, and above thetn was the cold steel-blue sky. 

The blacks had again made their camp close to ours and during the afternoon 
they had secured two kangaroos out in the scrub. The kangaroo was the common 
red one (Macropus rufus) which has evidently a wide distribution as it is 
apparently the only species inhabiting the plain country, and as the same class of 
country stretches right away into Western Australia presumably the species is 
distributed throughout it 



It was by this time quite dark in the chnsm and the blacks were prepariag 
for their feast. It was a strange sight to watch these natives, who were in a 
genuinely wild state, none of them having seen a white man before. Sitting 
round their tires two of the men prepared the kaogaroos for cooking. First of all 
the two lat^ tendons were extractad from each hind limb. To do this the skin 
is cut through close to the foot with the sharp bit of flint which is stuck on to the 
end of the womera or spear-thrower by means of the resin obtained from the 
leaves of the Porcupine grass, A hitch is then taken round the tendon with a 
yam stick, and then with one foot against the rump of the animal they pull until 
the upper end of the tendon gives way. Then the loose end is held in the teeth 
and when tightly stretched the lower end is cut through with the flint and the 
tendon thus extracted is twisted up and put beneath the waist girdle for safe 
keeping. These tondons are of great use to tbem in various ways such as that of 
attaching the points on to the end of their spears and womeras or for binding 
round the splicings on their spears. After this is done a small opening is made in 
the abdomen wall with the flint and through this all the intestines are pulled out 
and cut off. The hole is stitched up with a short pointed stick, the limbs are 
dislocated, the tail cut off at the stnmp, and then the animal is ready for cooking. 

The women and children took the intestines and at once cooked them by 
means of rubbing them continuously in the hot sand and ashes. Meanwhile some 
of the others had dug with yam sticks a shallow hole in the ground just large 
enough to hold the body and hod made a fire in it. When this hod burned down 
and nothing was left but hot ashes the kangaroo was laid on the latter, some of 
which were also scattered over it but not so as to cover it entirely. After lying 
here for on hour it was supposed to be cooked and was taken out and placed on 
Acacia branches. It was then cut open and tirst of all the liver and heart were 
taken out and eaten. The carver took the burnt skin off often using his teeth to 
tear it away and with a yam stick cut the body up roughly into joints, helping 
himself as he went along to such dainty morsels as the kidneys. Everyone, 
women and children included, had their share of the meat, and if not done enough 
it was well rubbed in the hot sand and cooked therein to suit the taste of the 
enter. There did not appear to be any special portions given to any individual, 
but the men were served before the women and the children received pieces from 
the men and wonien. It was by no means an appetising sight and the whole 
method was very crude, and nothing like so much care was taken in the cooking 
as is often the case amongst other Australian natives, who make a deep hole and 
cook their game on hot stones, the former being completely covered with earth, 



from actual contact with which they are protected by greea leaves during the 

These natives living amongst the sandhills and bare raises of Central Aus- 
tralia are in certain respects amongst the lowest of the Australian aborigines. 
They make no use of the skin of the kangaroos and wallabies, which are by no 
means uncommon, for purposes of clothing : they have not oven any netted " dilly- 
bags " such as ai-e made by natives in other parts : their weapons and implements 
of various kinds are of the simplest nature and but little ornamented, and such 
designs as they do carve or paint upon them are very crude when compared with 
those of the northern tribes. Tlieir stone implements are interesting because they 
are simply chipped and no attempt ia made to grind them down so as to produce 
smooth surfaces. So far as these are concerned they are a strong contrast to the 
ground axe-heads made by the natives all along the coastal district from Victoria 

When they had eaten as much aa they could they laid themselves down lor 
the night and all was quiet, except for a minute or two every now and then when 
one or other of them woke up and raked together the embers of the fires around 
which they slept. 

Thb Rktubn to thb Oboroe Hill Ranob. 

Next morning we started north to retrace our steps to the George Gill Range. 
The first day brought us to Goulthard'a Well, or Kurtitina Leaving this at sun- 
rise we reached Lake Amadeus at eight o'clock, and after photographing crossed 
its salt bed once more.* The surface was covered in parts with numberless little 
cones about half-an-inch high and the same in diameter. A circle of dark sand 
grains about three inches in diameter surrounded each, everything else but this 
thin circle being quite white with salt. A small holn in the cone led down into a 
vertical passage from one-and-a-half to three inches in depth. Each contained 
from two to five small, black, winged bymenopterous insects which were alive but 
quite quiescent, probably because of the cold. Unfortunately the specimens which 
I collected got spoilt during the day's rough riding, so that they cannot be 
determined. These and a solitary spider walking on the surface were the only 
signs of animal life and the Lake was as silent and deserted as when we first 
crossed it in the dusk. Not even a solitary bird was to be seen. 

• The hed of the lake is 1380 Met »b0T9Bea level: (hot Of lake Eyre being 30 feot b*!ow «e« level 



After crossing on foot we pressed on to Knmaran's Well hoping to find the 
water fit for the horses to drink. Another dingo hnd fallen in but it had been 
pulled out by the blacks who had evidently visited the spot during our absence, 
and had tried to burn the dead bodies which we had previously pulled out As 
the horses were very thirsty some of them after a, conaidemble amount of persua- 
sioa drank a little out of a sheet of canvas, the odour of which reminded us for 
many days of Kamaran's Well. 

That night we camped amongst the sandhills and had as on the previous one 
to sit up and watch the horses to prevent them from wandering away in search of 
water. It was so cold that our water bags were frozen solid at daybreak, when 
we had our breakfast and start«d oS. 

The third day brought us at evening to the Goorge Gill Range and the 
welcome waterhole at Bagot Creek. Wo were much struck with the fact that 
during the two weeks which had elapsed since we were here the water had very 
considerably increased in volume. The only explanation of this can be that, 
except in very dry seasons, a constant though small supply comes down from the 
hills and that in comparatively cool weather the evaporation is not great, and 
therefore though no rain falls the water holes increase in size. 

The next day was a rather hard one for the horses, as we had to take them 
over the George Gill Range and down into a valley through which the Petermann 
Creek flows. The upper part of this valley, which is known as Petermann Pound, 
forms a large, roughly-circular flat some three miles in diameter and completely 
shut in by hills except for a small outlet at the eastern end where the creek flows 

To the south it is bounded by the George Gill Range and to the north by the 
Station Range, already referred to as forming the escarpment on the south side of 
the Tempo Downs Valley. At the western end of the Pound these two ranges 
curve over towards one another and unite together. After traversing the flat we 
ascended the Station Range and at last, after the horses had had a. very rough 
time clambering over and amongst the rocks, we came down into what is called 
Shakes Plain at a point some twenty miles to the west of Tempe Downs Station, 
which was reached after dusk, 

We found that Mr. Thornton had gone away, in fact there was only one white 
man left in charge and he was by good fortune the cook. Just as before we were 
most hospitably entertained and our recollection of Tempe Downs will be of the 
most pleasant kind. 



After balE a day's spell here we left and retraced our steps through the 
Walker Gorge and then on to the Illftm water-hole on the Palmer River. From 
this point, instead of going eastwards towards the Finke at Running Waters, we 
turned north and followed the Palmer. The river was running in n somewhat 
wide gorge which every now and then widened out into a scrub and grass-covered 
flat amongst the hills. Along the river were a series of small water-holes on 
which were a solitary pair of shags and a few black duck and teal. As usual, a 
yard away from water all wan dry and the bed was marked with patches of salt. 

We camped for the night in the valley after a short day's travel of only 
seventeen miles. It was perhaps our coldest night — at least we felt the cold most 
severely — as we woke at 5 a.m. to find our water bags frozen solid and the 
thermometer registering 16° F., at which point it remained until sunrise. As 
usual we camped in the open, going to sleep by the side of a fire and as there was 
a slight hoar frost we felt the cold far more than in the perfectly dry parts. 
Dressing in the open air, when the temperature is sixteen degrees below freezing 
point, is accomplished as soon as possible. An hour or two after sunrise we were 
glad to take advantage of any cool shade. 

All day long we followed the windings of the river, sometimes through open 
flats, sometimes along deep, rocky gorges several miles in length where high 
precipices rose on either side directly from the narrow river bed, and where it was 
difficult amongst jagged masses of rock of all shapes and sizes which blocked the 
bed of the stream (or rather would have done so had there been any stream) to 
find a safe footing for the horses. When the river is actually flowing the passage 
of these gorges is quite impossible, but during the dry season they contain no 
water or at most only a few small pools. 

Emerging from the last gorge we halted to give the horses a rest by the side 
of a pool known as Bowsen's Hole. On a high rocky bonk in the last gorge we 
saw the largest tussock of " old man Porcupine " grass which we met with, during 
the Expedition. Its height was at least seven feet and its diameter fifteen feet. 
As usual in all the older tussocks the central part had died away. By the water- 
hole, under stones where the sand was moist, were as usual numbers of a little 
bmwn carab beetle (TfacAyj spenceri) which proved to be a new species, but which 
is very common in this situation by the side of all the water-holes in the James 
and McDonnell Ranges. In the water-hole itself Vallisneria and Chara were 
growing with a few snails such as IsidoreUa ntvscombi and Aruylus auttralicus 
creeping about on them in abundance. The latter has a little shell not more than 



the sixteenth of an inch in length looking oxActly like a minute limpet and it is 
widely distributed in Australia. 

There was but little insect life to be found though the Cassias as usual were 
brilliant with yellow blossom. A black and white mason fly was making persistant 
elTorts to drag a heavy spider up the smooth trunk of a red gum to its nest. The 
spider was apparently too heavy for it to fly with nnd was struggling, but walking 
backwards up the trunk the insect tried to drag the spider after it, and would 
doubtless have eventually succeeded had it not been transfei'rcd with its prey to 
the collecting bottle. 

After the mid-day halt we still followed the Palmer up, but now in a valley 
with the ranges gradually receding on either side until shortly after sunset wo 
reached a spot close to the source of the river where the hills on the one side ran 
away southwards and on the other towards the north-east, the valley itself 
opening out westwards into the broad Missionary Plains. 

Here close to the base of a projecting, somewhat conical hill known as Pine 
Point we camped for the night. 

Early next morning we passed over a low rise separating the Palmer valley 
from the plains. The latter form a long stretch of country some twenty miles in 
l)readth which runs east and west. On the north they are hounded by the 
McDonnell Ranges and on the south by the James Range, which towards the east 
run in a north-easterly direction so aa gradually to narrow in this end of the plains. 
Westwards they stretch away to open out into the desert sandhill country lying 
beyond tho mountain ranges. 

As soon as we come upon the plains we found ourselves in a belt of grass 
trees (Plate 4) belonging to a species not hitherto described. The first specimens 
with which we carae in contact were shown to Professor Tate along the valley of 
the Palmer, some few miles north of the Illara Water-hole, by Mr. Thornton of 
Tempo Downs, after whom the species has been named {Xatilhorreea Tkomtoni'). 
They seem to streteh in a narrow belt some seventy miles in length right across 
the plains as far as Glen Edith in the neighbourhood of which they were i^^in 
seen by Professor Tate. The larger specimens have a stem some five or six feet 
high with a crown of long wiry leaves and a flowering stalk the top of which is 
fully twelve feet above the ground. In general appearance they are much like 
the larger grass tree (X. major), but can easily be distinguished from this by 
their much more linear leaves. They form a good example of several species of 



plunts which in this central district have a very limited distribution. Amongst 
these Swaifiionia canesctns was only found in two small colonies nearly sixty miles 
apart, and Goodenia Horniana in the same way was only met with in two spots a 
hundred miles apart. Of course these and other such plants may occur elsewhere, 
but as a constant watch was kept every day over the large area of country 
traversed it ia quite safe to adopt Professor Tate's opinion that they are extremely 
sporadic in occurrence. Just like certain of the animals such as the earthworm 
and various species of snails those which still persist may be regarded as relics of 
a former more widely-spread flora which have, under the gradually increasing 
desiccation of the country, been able to persist in favourable spots. After photo- 
graphing the grass trees, a group of which with Pine Point in the background is 
represented in the illustration (Plate 4), we rode on over undulating country with 
a broad belt of scrub rather richer than any we had hitherto seen as it contained 
plenty of Prostanthera, various species of Eremophila in flower and Currajong 
trees. The Mallee Gum was thickly covered with a bright red flowering mistletoe. 
To the north-east we could see the Oosse Range, an isolated mass about two nittes 
in length and the same in breadth. The country all round tliis was thick with 
Porcupine grass amongst which were fine specimens of Acada dUtyopkleba with 
large yellow balls of flower, and the ground was cut through by deep, narrow 
watercourses down which in rainy seasons the water pours from the hillside, only 
to become rapidly lost- 
Turning round the western end of Oosse Range we struck Rudall Creek, 
which runs east from here to join the main Finke. Our camp at night had been 
a dry one, so that we were glad to find a small water-hole. It lay in the creek 
bed at the base of a rock ; probably beneath the sand a bar of rock runs across 
and so causes the water to come to the surface. While we rested a flock of rock 
pigeons (Lophopkaps hucogaster) came down to the water-hole. Those are amongst 
the most distinctive birds of the dbtrict ; in colour they resemble, generally 
speaking, the yellow-brown sand or rock on which they remain quiet until you are 
close to them when they rise with a whirr and then, once on the wing, glide away 
quietly. They have a curious habit of making a kind of run down to a water-hole. 
In this spot, for example, the pool was hemmed in on one side by a rock about 
fifteen feet high, while on the other side was a level sandy bank. The birds 
congregated at the top of the rock and then one &ft«r the other ran down a beaten 
track to the water and up again. 

From Rudall Creek we travelled north towards what looked like a series of 
rounded, smooth, grass covered hills much like the Downs of the south of England. 



When we were amongst them we found however thut they wore a. series of jumbled 
bills covered all over with Porcupine gross, the tnBBOcks being so close together 
as to give when seen from a diatiince the appearance of a smooth carpet of grass, 
but which in reality mode travelling somewhat slow and uncomfortable. 

Beyond this low range we could see the peaks of higher hills, but it was dusk 
before we had mode our way up and into the near Range where we camped for the 

In the morning we passed through a narrow cleft in the hilb and struck the 
deserted Olen Helen Station at the base of Mount Zeil within half an hour of the 
time at which the main camel train had reached it. It was just a fortnight since 
the two parties had separated at Reedy Creek and during that time we had 
traversed some three hundred and thirty miles. We had actually been travelling 
for twelve days, as a day and a half had >>een spent in camp at Ayers Rock and 
half a day at Tempe Downs, and as, thore had been two spells of three days each 
over waterless country and our journey hod tain almost entirely over heavy 
Porcupine sandhills and across rough, rocky ranges our horses had hod by no 
moans an easy time. 

We found that the main party with the camel train had travelled from our 
parting place at Reedy Creek eastwards to Carmichoel Crag which forms the 
eastern end of the Cleorge Gill Range and had then turned northwards across the 
open country to Olen Eklith, and then travelling westwards had struck the eastern 
end of the McDonnell Range near to Haast's Bluff. After traversing for some 
little distance the western end of the narrow Horn Valley which stretches in aa 
unbroken line for some two hundred miles eastwards and which, as at the Mereenie 
Bluff, is hemmed in by very fine escarpments of rock often rising for several 
hundred feet vertically, they crossed the valley and travelled northwards towards 
the Darwent Creek. Turning south again they then passed along the valley lying 
to the south of the main McDonnell Range and so reached the base of Mount 

It was during this part of the journey that the only specimens seen of the 
rare Princess Alexandra Farrakeet {Spa/hoplerus (Pofyttlh) alexandrtB) were 
secured by Mr. Keartland. Near to Glen Edith a flock of these birds was found 
in a patch of Desert Oaks. Their long slender tul and delicate tints of green, 
blue, purple and salmon-pink render them perhaps the most beautiful of our 
Australian Parrokeets and up to the time of the Expedition, though they were 
first discovered by Watorhouse on Stuart's Expedition into Central Australi.o, only 
a few specimens had been secured. 



Mr. KeurtliMid was fortunate enough to obtain fifteen and since tliat time 
though they were very rare indeed before they seem from some cause to have 
uppourcd in considerable numbers at one or two spots, such as the Hale River to 
the east of Alice Springs and at Itlamnrtn in the James Range during the early 
summer mouths (November) of 1894, but since then they have again disappeared. 

This sporadic appearance both in space and time of various forms of animals 
is very characteristic of many Central Australian species. Perhaps for the space 
of a month, owing (]oubtless to the occurrence of a combination of favourable 
circumstances, an animal will suddenly become abundant and then as suddenly 
again become rare, only to reappear after the lapse, it may be, of several seasons. 

The presence of a peculiar, spatulat«, third primary feather in the wing of the 
adult male has caused Mr. North, in whose hands the birds secured during the 
Expedition weie placed for description, to sepunite the species from the genua 
Fulytelis in which it was placed by Uould and to place it in a new genus to which, 
in allusion to the presence of this peculiar feather, he has giveu the name of 

Its food evidently consists mainly of grass seeds and according to Mr. 
Fritchard — one of the prospectors accompanying our party — who has seen a con- 
siderable number of specimens since our return the birds nest in hollow trees, often 
several pairs occupying one tree, and lay five eggs in a clutch. Mr. Keartlaad 
experienced considerable ditBculty in distinguish iug the birds owing to their 
curious habit of " lying along the stout limbs of the tree like a hzani," instead of 
adopting the style of most other Parrots and perching on a twig or thin bianch. 
Mr. Fritchard however writing in November, 1894, to Mr. Keartland said ; "This 
is the first time on record that they have made this (i.e., the Hale River to the 
east of Alice Springs) their breeding ground, but I do not think that they have 
come to stay, and perhaps in a year or so they may be as rare as ever. 
They live in hollow trees, laying five eggs in a clutoh, and several pairs of birds 
occupy holes in the sauie tree. They are nesting now in the Eucolypts on the 
banks of the Hale River and other large watercourses. They do not always lie 
along the limbs as you found them at Olen Edith, hut perch as other Parrote. I 
have a number of them in captivity, amongst them being an old male bird with a 
tail seventeen inches long." 


The Higher Steppes. — The McDonnell Ranges. 

Cuu|i kL Uic Blue or Mount Sonder— The lUdbuili Creek uid Gor);e-:-De«riptlon of Piah found In tbe WUet- 
holM-The Horn Vk]le>-Origin ol the Ooivec-Caaip In the Flnke Oorge— The Uuc-Wallkby and B^Ut 
BuidhxKrta— Tmvel aouth along the Finke axA uron the HlHtonuy Plalna to tlemiuiniburg— The HlMton 
Station and Itg iDnuenoe on ths Nstlvea-DIvkie into Three Parties-FoUow the Pinke through thf James 
Kaiiij:c to Palm Creck-Thre« Dftyl Cinip at Pnlm Creek- Palmi and Cycads— Account of the Animal Life 
ol FbIui Creek— HeetrioUon of Speotet to * Snull Area as exeoi|AiBed by the UoUuKa-Retuni to ller- 
niannshurg— Jerboa Bate and Anteehinomjs- I*»i-e Herman nsliurg-Modlllcition in Form and Colour ol 
the Foliage of Acocia nlidna and Muiga-Comp in the Scrub- The Main Camel Te»ra goea on EostwaulB 
along the tll«ionar}' Plain to Alice Springe— A Section ol the Forty eoea North to croM the Ringes to the 
Burt Plain— View trom the South UcDonnell Range- Conip near Folaley BlulT—A Day In Cunp— VurioiiB 
Forme ol Ant Necta- Rock Wallabiee— Uethod of Ourylng the Young In the Fouch, a Severe Hondica]) to 
Manupiak In Competition nlth Rodenti— Driiikley UIuH— Traverse the Rangen and Camp on the Burt 
Ploln-Strilie the Telegraph Une and follow it South (o Alice Springe- Mr. WaU paye a Plying Visit to the 
Gold and •o.oolled Ruby Pleldg— A New Mamplal— The Rangei at Alice Springe- The Todd River -Conlln 
Lagoon -Various Forms ot Fbyllopods and ttarir HaUta-The so^alled Barking Spider—The Sound probably 
due to a Blnl -The Pre«noe ot a StriduloUng Organ in the Spider— Leave Alloc Springs and travel South 
along the Telegraph Line to OodnadatlA. 

From Oleii Helen Station, which was quite deserted and ia ruins, we went a few 
miles further east and camped close to the base of Mount Sonder. We were at 
length in the real McDonnell Ranges, but they were very diSerent from what on 
starting we had expected to find. Bare peaks, some of them nearly 5000 feet 
high, rose at intervals al>ruptly from amongst a mass of low ridges flanked, 
especially to the north, by jumbled hills. Here and there creeks forced their way 
across them through gorges cut deeply in the rocky ridge*, but there were no 
great sheltered valleys or luxuriant vegetation ; everything was bare and dry 
except for the gums bordering the creek beds and the porcupine grass, patches of 
which extended even to tbe tops of tbe highest peaks. 

These peaks are situated in what Messrs. Tate and Watt recognise as the 
Fre-Cambrian area. In various parts, such as the Belt Range and Mount Zeil, 
they consist of quartzite capping on underlying mass of Fre-Gambrian gneissic 
rocks which form the jumbled hills stretching north towards the Burt Plains. 
Mount Sender, near to which we were camped, was formed of Ordovician quartzite, 
but in the valley of the Davenport Creek, close by its south-west«rn base, gneissic 
granite was seen outcropping and representing in all probability an inlier of Fre- 
Cambrian rocks. Its southern base was flanked by low limcGtone hills and about a 
mile to the south of us across the small alluvial plain along which the Davenport 



and OrinistoQ Creeks, forming the main sources of the Fiuke, were running, rvue a 
long ridge of Ordovician Quortzite. 

Climbing over the limestone bills a little distance to llie north of our cunip 
we Clime upon the Bedbonk Creek, running south, just as it emerged from the 
goi^ ill which it passes through the lofty quartzite ridge from which, immediately 
to the west of the gorge, rises Mount Sondor. 

The watershed ties well to the north of the line along which are now the 
highest peaks such as Mounts Sonder, Zeil, Heuglin and Oilcs, and the creeks 
have in course of time cut their way jn deep gorges through the ridge which forms 
the southern boundary of the Pre-Cambrian area. 

The accompanying diagram will serve to give a general idea of the main 
physiographic features of the region. It is supposed to represent a section cut 
from north to south from the Burt Plains, which lie to the north of the main 
McDonnell Range to the James Range in the south. Starting in the south we 
find the Missionary Plains, which vary considerably in width, gradually narrowing 
from about twenty miles ut the western end to perhaps a mile or two at the 
eastern end in the neighbourhood of Alice Springs.* Going north across these we 
come to a series of low hills and then cross a distinct ridge with a steep northern 
escarpment and so descend into the Horn Valley, which is at most only about ii 
quarter of a mile in width. Crossing another distinct ridge bounding the Horn 
Valley on the north we come into another broad valley, perhaps half a mile across, 
lying ut the base of the main McDonnell Range. The latter consists of a series 
of low jumbly hills with a main ridge in the southern part the whole running o;ist 
and west for some 400 miles. Thb general arrangement of parallel valleys and 
ridges all running east and west, with the main river channeb cutting across them 
from the watershed in the north, is the striking physiographic feature of the 
Higher Steppe region. 

• Tbey are not adM tho Ulsslanary Fli^nii except In Uio brand pare out to tho west end, but the ville^ [a 
realf}' direotly oontlnuiHU trou ewt to vcit uid Ik tinidijally oamwed In eutwiKtii u the Jtinea Kange (hen 
uwully called the Waterlxnuc) trendH notth -cost so u to npprtwcli the UcDonnellH. 



As we followed up the Redbaok towards the mountains the bed narrowed 
and the rocks closed in on either side until we cunie to a deep pool lying at the 
entrance to a gorge, which was not more than six feet wide. 

For half a mile this gorge which is nothing more than a dg-zag cleft cuts its 
way right through the range. Its narrow bed is filled with water, deep and 
iutensely cold and on either side the red jagged rocks rf qaartzite rise precipitously 
for several hundred feet. In contrast to the open valley and plain across which 
the river flows as soon as it has forced its way through the mountain, tl)e deep 
cleft with its still waters and its rocky sides forms a most impressive sight. 

Some idea of the nature of this gorge may be gained from the illustration 
which is reproduced from a photogniph taken at mid-day during the short interval 
of time when it is lighted up. It is of course impossible in a photograph to give 
any adequate representation of a scene which depends for its effect upon rocks 
brilliant red in colour, a deep rock-pool and a cleft tlirough which can be seen a 
narrow strip of bright blue sky. 

Such gorges of which this is perhaps the narrowest and most confined form 
one of the most striking features of the McDonnell Range across which they 
always run from fiorth to south. In all probability they own their origin to the 
fact that the streams which now flow through tbem were able to keep pace with 
the griulual elevation of the mountain ridge, the streams wearing out the gorges 
as the land rose. In some cases as In those of the Palmer River already referred 
to, and still more strikingly shown in the case of the great winding gorge through 
which the Fiiike flows in ita passage across the James Bange they may be many 
miles in length. 

They afford the only means of traversing the ranges which run continuously 
from east to west as the rocks are far too steep and jagged for the passage of 
horses and camels. Sometimes after a heavy rainfall the water will scour out 
the bed of the gorge and transform it from a dry track into an impassable 

It is upon the shady sides of these gorges that many of the most characteristic 
I^rapintine plants, that b those of the Higher Steppes have found shelter, and 
it is in thoRi also that the water-holes are really permanent and here also must 
live the tish which in times of flood are carried away to the south to stock the 
water-holes along the rivers which rise in Uie McDonnell Range and flow south 
across the Lower Steppes. 


Horn Exped. Cent. Aust. Narralive. Plated- 

RsD Bank gorob. 




The few rocky pooU lying in the more opon part of the gorge, tliougli none of 
ibetn were more than, a very few yurds square were well-stocked with fish, and out 
of the eight species met with during the Ebcpedition six were caught in one small 
pool at the entrance to the Redbank Gorge. These were (1) the bony bream 
{C/mIoIssus homi) the largest fish of the district, though the specimeos here were 
Bmall when compared with those caught in the big water-hole at Henbury, (2) 
a large epeciea of Therapon {T. Intttaceus) Bliver-grey in colour with golden 
spots, the specimens of which were the largest of this species caught during the 
Expedition, (3) a smaller species of the same genus {T. percoides) easily distin- 
guished from the fonner by its bright silver colour and by the presence of Gve 
strongly marked dark bauds nioning vertically on each side of the body, {4) and 
(5) two small, thinner fish, closely allied to one another (Nema/oeenlris tatei and 
N. winneckei) 'wiHi golden lines running horinontally along the side, and (C) a 
small but more stoutly built fish (EUotrh larapintte) with the body a general 
yellow-browD colour with some ten darker vertical bands on each side. 

The &rst five species were swimming about bother, and here as elsewhere 
when the fish went together in a common shoat the most prominent was the little 
TTurapoH percoides with its silvery body and black bands, but it was also the 
quickest in its movements and the most difficult to catch. The water in these 
rock-pools was always perfectly clear and the only way to secure the fish was to 
drive them into a narrow part of the pool if there happened to be one and then to 
use the hand net The little Therapon when t^ken out the water made a small 
but distinct trumpeting noise. The Eleotris did not often swim about with the 
others but lay near to the bottom of the pool, usually in fact resting on the bed 
where it was sandy. 

In addition to tlie eight species collected during the Expedition and identified 
by Mr. Zietz a single specimen of Therapon fasdalut has been recorded by Mr, 
Lucas* which was secured " near the McDonnell Ranges." Mr. Lucas has also 
mentioned the occurrence of a species of Chatoessus which he says "seems to 
correspond better with C. ereii, Ounthr., than with C. rUhardsoni, Costl," but as 
this was an immature specimen he was not able to identify it with certainty and 
the wide distribution and large numbers of the sinf;Ie species of C/hatocssus met 
with during the £lxpedition (C horni) render it possible that Mr. Lucas' specimen 
was an immature one of the Kamo spocira. 

• Journ. Unn. goo, N.8.W., 18M, M. 2. p. MS. 



Eight speciea will doubtlefis appear a very smtUl number, in fact if wc exclude 
the little Gobtus eremius which was only found in two artiliciul pools in the Lower 
Steppes the nuuiber which is charactfiristic, so far as yet kaown, of the water-holee 
amongst the ranges of the Higher Steppes, whence those on the Lower Steppes are 
stocked is only seven. Of those secured by us all except one {Plolosus argenlus) 
are widely distributed throughout the water-holes amongst the Ranges and exist 
in comparatively large numbers— that is in proportion to the size of the water- 
holes to which except just during and after the rain senson they are restricted. 

Amongst the plants a certain number of additions to the collection were made 
die moat imporbint being Styphelia MiUheilii, a single colony of which was found 
growing high up on Mount Sonder. This was of interest us it was the only 
Epacrid found during the whole Expedition, though of the genus Styphelia more 
than one hundred and seventy species are recorded from Australia, the head- 
quarters of the genus being West Australia which has about one hundred and ten 
species, lliis particular species is also found in Queensland. 

The district was too dry to yield anything like a good harvest to either 
Botanist or Zoologist and accordingly after two days' spell, during which we 
worked hard with very disappointing results, we determined to go on to the Finke 
Gorge. Mr. Cowle, who had left us on his return to Illamurta, had reported that 
the passage of the Gorge was blocked on the north by a water-hole stretching 
across it, so we had to go some twenty-five miles round to get tlirough the ranges. 

The valley in which we were camped lay to the south of the irregular mass of 
ranges some twenty to twenty-five miles tu width and about four hundred miles 
in length, which are of Pre-Ganibrian age and form the McDonnells proper. To 
the south of us lay what are usually spoken of as the Southern McDonnells but 
which are of Ordovician (Silurian) age and have in the report on the Geological 
work of the Expedition been spoken of as the northernmost part of the James 
Range, which extonds southwards with a mean'width of sixty to seventy miles. 
To the south of the James Range again and in line with one another are tlie 
George Gill and Levi Ranges. 

For the sake of convenience I still use the name Southern McDoanclla as 
applying to the two very distinct quartzito ridges which run along parallel to one 
another for a distance which is probably not far short of two hundred and fifty 
miles. Between the two ridges there runs for the whole length a valley varying 
in width from at most a mile to a quarter of a mile to which the name of Horn 
Valley is now given. 



Tbese two ridg(;i> and the Horn Vulley between them form one of the most 
Btriking [ihysiograp)iic features of this part of tbe country. At four special places* 
the ridges were broken through by river gorges, and tlie fact that in each case the 
north w<\ south ridges are both cut through in this way at points opposito to one 
another goes far towards demonstrating the truth of the tlieory that the gorges 
have hena gradually cut by the watercuurGes while the ridges were in course of 
being elevat«d. 

The only other way in which these gorges could have been formed was by the 
union of ravines whicli by chance lay exactly opposite to one anotlier on the two . 
sides of the ranges. 

If the gorges wore formed in this way it is a very remarkable coincidence that 
in the case of both the main stream of the Finke and its lai^e tributaries, the 
Ellery and the Hugh, such gorges should have been formed exactly opposite to one 
another in the high quartzite ridges which now form the two ranges, enclosing 
between them the Horn Valley. 

In no instance are atty other gorges formed opposite to each other in this 
way, and then in addition to this the long winding gorge of the Finke — more than 
forty miles in length — through the James Range, which has been hollowed out by 
the same stream as the one which runs through the northern gorges, can only be 
satisfitctorily explained by supposing it to have been cut by the river as the 
land rosat 

If we suppose the river courses to have been determined since tlie date of 
upheaval of the ridges, then it is an inexplicable feature that only minor streams 
should follow the trend of tlie longitudinal folds whilst the four main ones — the 
Finke proper with ite large tributaries the Ellery and the Hugh and again 
further eastward tbe Todd — should run in a direction practically at right angles to 
the length of the ridges and that only small tributaries should How into them from 
tlie valleys — two or three hundred miles in length — which they cut across in their 
course southwards to the great Cretaceous plain which gradually sinks towards 
Lake Eyre. 

■ Then an cttur gorgea (omiHl, but 1 am h«rc only nterrli^ to the tour ipoti at which Korga im lonued 
thraugh (he tvo ridEH oplnelte to one another. 

t The Junea Rwi|^ la unlortunitely ivrj' InBdoiualcly reprewnted <n the map. The Krichoull and Wutcrtiousc 
Raogu ore directly isntlnuous vith one an Ihcr and lomi only a northern portion ol the Janiea Kan^. The long 
h'iiike Oori[e, here relerred to, outs acron the IntKr Iroiii IlcmianniiburK in the north \a a little diataiice to the 
north at the ptdnt at whloh It [i repieKnted in the map ao ]oln«l by the llpiUa Creek. 



From our cauip at the Wsti of Mount Sunder we followed the Davenport back 
for Ik short disUnco into the Horn Valley and then turued enetwardB ftlonj; the 
latter. In this part the vftllcy was about a quarter of a mile wide ; the ridge to 
the north hod a somewhat steeply sloping side corresponding to the dip of the 
ridge, but that to the south had a high escarpment, tho rocks forming which have 
split into blocks which have tumbled over on to one another in such a way that 
the appearance of horizontal stratification is produced. 

After travelling some tweuty-five miles we came to the main stream of the 
Finke running straight from north to south across the narrow valley, which was 
here not more than three or four hundred yards wide. 

The streams which unite to form the river rise partly in the country lying to 
the north of the higher Pre-Cambrian hills, such as Mount Sonder, partly in the 
valley between the latter and tlie northern range bounding the Horn Valley, and 
partly but only to a small extent in the Horn Valley itself. The various small 
tributaries some of which, such as the Bedbank and the Davenport, pass by deep 
gorges through the mountain ridges, unite together not far from the base of Mount 
Sonder on its southern side. After running a few miles eastward and being joined 
by other small creeks the main stream turns southwards and, as detailed before, 
cuts across the ranges one after the other. 

The northern gorge as represented in the illustration (Plat« 10) is a short one, 
and only about twenty or thirty yards in width, tho entrance to it being at the time 
of our visit completely closed by a deep water-hole stretching right across between 
tho rocks.* 

The southern gorge was considerably larger and much wider and the sandy 
bed of the river was bordered by steep banks covered with scrub, behind which 
rose the steep cliffs. Along the sandy bed were fair sized pools of water, some 
decidedly brackish, others mors fresh and lined with rushes. The only really fresli 
water was in a small spring on the steep western bank and this only held about a 
bucket-full of water at a time. We camped by the river on a wide, open flat in 
the Horn Valley, whence we could work easily in both directions as we were 
hopeful that the presence of the water-holes might be associated with the preserva- 
tion of forms typical of the McDonnell district and not yet secured. 

Though a few interesting forms were found yet on the whole the result was 
very disappointing. At the northern entrance to the gorge, upon the rocks, was 

■ In the map Uk luuue ot thla Qoncc ie printed '■ Pike " [atad al " Flnke." 





growing a species of Swainsonia (S. ca»esteris) which was only root with in one 
other spot along the Todd River, Under the rocka (ind atones and diiris on the 
hill sides were colonies of molluscs, one of which (Atigasei/a aicigfrens) ft little 
snail with a series of small plate-like ribs running across the whorls was new and 
was only found in this one spot 

The water-holes apart from the usual species of fish yielded nothing. The 
entire absence of frogs was very noticeable, as the rushes which grew in profusion 
round the water-pools might have been exppcted to harbour a certain numljcr, but 
not one was to be seen or heard, their absence being probably associated with the 
slight brackishnesB of the water. 

Around the spring on the western bank was a patch of block earth in which 
were found a considerable number of the earthworms previonsly alluded to — their 
cocoons, each with a well-marked "tag" at either end were fairly numerous, but 
there was no trace of any more than the one species and they are limitod to a 
small patch of ground only a few yards square. 

Even beetles were difficult to find and amongst larger animals all that we 
secured were a few of the ubiquitous lizard, A. reticulatus, a snake, Aipiditet 
melaniHephalus, and a few rodents. Mammals both here and elsewhere were very 
difficult indeed to obtnin, which was probably owing to the fact that the majority 
of them are nocturnal and that during the winter months, when at nights the 
temperature is often below the freezing point, they do not venture out. At Mount 
Sonder wo hod obtained specimens of the hare-wallaby {Lagorckesles conspteillatus 
var. leickardtii\ a difierent species from the one found during the Elder Expedition 
when Mr, Streich stated that a form identified as L. hirsulus by Messrs. Stirling 
and Zietz appeared to be plentiful in the Victoria desert. We also secured in a 
trap a specimen of the so-called rabbit bandicoot, Ptragak lagolis, the long, soft, 
grey and white fur of which renders it one of the prettiest of the smaller marsu- 
pials. Its burrows abound, being often very extensive, and it must fall a prey to 
the blacks in great numbers as tlie white tips of its tail — called by them olpita — 
aro very extensively used to make ornaments of various kinds. They are strung 
together so as to form tassels, each of which may contain from twenty to thirty 
tails. They are to the blacks what Ermine tips have been to the whitos of other 
parts of the world, though as fashions do not change much in Central Australia 
the Feragale has been more consistently sought after than even the Ermines. 

The genus as at present known is represented by the species P. Ingalis which 
is widely distributed in West, South and Central Australia and by P. leumra. 



ooly ft single immnture specimen of which has as yet be«n described by Mr. Oldfield 
Thomas. The exact locality of the latter species is doubtful, though probably it 
came from Central Australia., and Mr. Byrne who has carefully enquired iato the 
matter thinks it possible that the blocks are acquainted with it in the neighbour- 
hood of Charlotte Waters ; but on this poiut he cannot feel quite certain. 

Mr. Byrne has however made an interesting discovery in the form of a new 
species of Peragale. The specimens in question are of much smaller size than P. 
lagotis and are also of a darker colour, whilst Mr. Thomas' specimen of P. Uucura 
is characterized by its almost white colour. 

The new species is of about the size of a small rabbit with long dark grey 
silky hair \ it has the characteristic long ears and white tip to the tail but the 
latter is nothing like so strikingly marked as in the case of the larger species P. 
lagotis. The natives distinguish glearly between the two, calling the larger one 
TJrgitta and the smaller Urpila. 

Thanks also to Mr. Byrne and Mr. Uillen a new species of the allied genus 
Ferameles has been discovered both on the Burt Plains, near the McDonnell 
Ranges and at Charlotte Waters. It is evidently more closely allied to the striped 
bandicoot {P. bougainvillei) than to any other and is called " Mulgar-uquirra " hy 
the natives at Alice Springs and " Iwurra " by those at Charlotte Waters. 

The specimens of Urpila und Iwurra came from about forty miles north- 
east of Charlotte Waters, and Mr. Byrne has sent me the following notes with 
regard to their habits, and those of the Urgitta and Chteropus : — "Whilst the 
TJrgfttta occupies the inner extremity of his burrow, the Urpila during the cold 
weather lies within a foot or so of the entrance of his, and only uses the inner 
chamber during the summer. This peculiarity is taken advantage of by the 
natives who spring on the surface of the ground beliind the Urpila breaking it in, 
and so cutting off his retreat to the inner chamber. He is thus compelled to rush 
out through the entrance where a native is waiting to give him his quietus. The 
Urgatta cannot lie captured in this way, and has to be dug right out. Both 
species are nocturnal. The Iwurra and Tubnija (Chceropus) are identical in their 
habits, and build similar nests of grass and twigs in shallow, oval hollows sco<q>ed 
in the ground. They are captured in the same way, viz , by placing one foot on 
the nest pinning the animal down, and then pulling it out with the hand." 

From the camp hy the Finke in the Horn Valley we travelled south, following 
the course of the river across the wide Missionary Plains which lie between the 
South McDonnell Riinges on the north, and the KrichaufT Range in the soutli, the 



latter being really a part of the James Ranf^e. Some few miles soutli of the gorge, 
Ruddall Creek, which we had previously crossed near the Uosse Range, joins the 

A good track leading through the scrub showed that we were getting near to 
the Old Missionary Station of Herman nsburg, which we reached late in the 
afternoon, and where Mr. Heidenreich who was then in charge made ua welcome. 
The niission at the time of our visit was abandoned, and the whole place more or 
less in ruins. A few blacks, the remnants of a larger number who were camped 
about the place when it was opened as a mission station, still rcnmined, living in a 
squalid state in dirty whurlics. If, which is open to question, the mission had 
ever done any permanent good, there were no evidences of it to be seen either 
amongst these blacks or others whom wo met with and who hud been in contact 
with them. 

The morality of the black is not that of the white man, but his life so long aa 
he remains uncontaininated by contact with the latter, is governed by rules of 
conduct which have been recognised amongst his tribe from what they speak of as 
the " alcheringn," which Mr. Uillen has aptly called the " Dream times." Such 
rules of conduct are taught by the older men to the young ones and arc handed 
down from generation to generation. Any breach of these rules renders the 
offender liable to severe punishment — either corporal or what is perhaps quite as 
bad the feeling that he has earned the opprobrium of, and ia ridiculed by his 

To the rules of the community the blacks, in their natural state, conform quite 
as strictly, in fact perhaps more so than the average white man does to the code of 
morality which he is taught. 

To attempt as has been tried at Hermannsburg and elsewhere to teach them 
ideas absolutely foreign to their minds and which they are utterly incjipable of 
grasping simply results in destroying their faith in the prccepU which they have 
liecn taught by their elders and in giving them in return nothing which tliey can 
. understand. In contact with the white man the aborigine is doomed to disappear : 
it is far better that as much as possible ho should be left in his native state and 
that no attempt should be made either to cause him to lose faith in the strict tribal 
rules, or to teach him abstract ideas which are utterly beyond the comprehension 
of an Australian aborigina 

I do not in any way intend in saying what has gone before to suggest that 
the Missionaries in charge of the Station did not do their work zealously, hut 



simply that the task which they essnycd was one which under the nature of the 
circumstances could not be successfully carried out. 

At one time as date palms and relics of plots of vegetables showed there must 
have been n very good garden indeed, in fact where water is available there is no 
difficulty in rearing vegetables, ns we found by pleasant experience at Charlotte 
Waters, Crown Point, Hermannsburg and Alice Springs. 

A little to the south of the Station across the broad valley in which the Finke 
was running stretched the Krichnuff Range. The highest point was Mount 
Hermann and just to the eost of this the river left the plains and entered a deep 
gorge, wliicli runs for some forty miles south through the main James Range until 
close to Running Waters it emerges and then runs on southwards to traverse the 
great Desert Sandstone Plain. 

This gorge was first traversed in 1872 by Giles, when he passed through it 
from south to north and then followed up Ruilall Creek past Ooese Range and 
away to the west beyond Caimichael Creek. 

At Hermanosburg we divided into three parties, the main camp stayed at the 
Mission Station, Mr. Watt with Messrs. Pritchard and Russell went ont north- 
west so OS to strike the Ellery Creek, their intention being to follow this up 
through the McDonnells and then travel eastwards along the Burt Pkin to Alice 
Springs ; the rest of us, that is Messrs. Tate, Stirling, Winnecke, Belt and myself, 
started olf to follow down the Pinko Gorge to the Olen of Palms. 

Crossing over the plain to the Krichauff range we entered the Gorge and 
followed its windings for eight or nine miles between lofty clilfs of red sandstone, 
which sometimes hemmed in the river bed closely, and at others receded, so that the 
stream was bordered by sandy banks covered with Cassias, Eremophilas, Grevilleos, 
gum trees, and Melaleuca. Side streams which hod cut out smaller gorges for 
themselves entered the main stream at intervals and every now and then the 
bed of the latt«r held fair sized pools of water, on one of which we counted s^ flock 
of sixty-nine teal and duck. 

Some nine miles from the mission station, and just where the river takes a 
big sweep almost duo cast and west we came upon the first Palm tree and camped 
for the night in a very picturesr|ue spot where the rocks were broken up into 
great rod bti>cks piled on one another to form pinnacled masses. 

The Palm tree which was first found by Giles, in 1872, is very much like the 
ybbivge-trce Palm of the eastern coastal district, but this species 



{Livistona Maria) is peculiar to just the part of the Finke Gorge in which we were 
camped, and to the Palm Creek which entered it on the west side close to our camp. 

Professor Tate and myself spent the afternoon searching along the steep 
banks of the river at the base ot the high cliffs. These banks arc formed 
of the talus of the clifis, and are covered with a growth of native fig troes 
and such smaller shrubs as Indigofera. In this part of the gorge there are not 
more than, at the outside, a dozen mature palm trees, the tallest of which would 
perhaps reach a height of fifty feet. Many hours were spent by us in search 
of molluscs, and we were rewarded by the finding ot a new Bulimnoid shell 
in the loose earth and dead leaves under a tig tree on the northern bank of 
the gorge. There was apparently just this single colony of the shell {Liparus 
spenceri) as, though searching carefully, we never found it except in this one 
restricted spot. Perhaps if the whole district were searched other colonics would 
be found, but they are evidently tew in number and far isolated from one another, 
a feature in the distribution of many animals and plants which was constantly 
being impressed upon us. 

Our camp on the soft sand ai the creek bed close by a water-hole and at the 
foot ot a small clump of fine gum trees and Palms which stood out against the 
lofty red cliSs behind them was a very picturesque one. The next morning 
Professor Tate and myself once more went down the Finke, whilst Dr. Stirling 
and Mr. Heidenreich rode on up the Palm Creek coming in from the west to see 
if it were worth our while to go and camp there. They returned after a few hours 
and reported that it was well worth our going up, so in the afternoon we shifted 
camp. Dr. Stirling with Messrs. Winnecke and Heidenreich returning to the main 
camp at Hermannsbui^, while Messrs. Tate, Belt and myselt went up the Palm 
Creek intending to spend a day or two there. 

After traversing some two miles we came to a part where the hills closed in 
and formed oa usual a big sweep of precipitous red cliffs which rose abruptly from 
the smooth, rocky bed of the river. The sides ot the gorge on the northern bank 
ai the stream were overgrown with Cycads, whilst a solitary pidm or two had 
managed to establish themselves in clefts right in the centre of the rocky bed. 
Passing out of the Cycod gorge the hills opened out a little, where a stream came 
in from the south but soon closed in again to form another long, winding gorge 
leading back amongst the hilts. 

The river bed was almost entirely formed of smootli rocks, but a little way 
beyond the Cycad gorge was a patch of sand and on this, as there was unfor- 
tunately no chance of a heavy rain to flood the creek, we camped. 



Wandering up the gorge we soon came upon the palm trees the total number 
of which does not exceed if it equals one hundred — that is excluding young seed- 
lings. There is no sand or soil in the gorge the bed of which is completely filled 
with water during the short time that a flooti comes down, and the torrent, judging 
by the heaps of deMs piled up Against the trunks of the palms, must come down 
with considerable force and volume. 

The rocks are worn quite smooth and amongst them are pools of water three 
or four feet deep often surrounded by rushes. At each side of the gorge and more 
especially on the northern under the shade of the rocks is a growth of scrub aliove 
which the palms stand out. They are confined as may be seen from the illustration 
which represents a view along the Palm Creek looking west, to this northern side 
except a few which are growing right in the bed of the creek. Very young ones only 
a foot or two in height are numerous in the small clefts amongst the smooth rocks, 
but there are very few half-grown trees which seem to show that the great majority 
of the young ones get torn out during flood time and so the colony does not increase 
in numbers and may perhaps as the older trees die off be actually dimiDtshiiig. It 
might have been expected that the floods would have washed the hard fruits away 
to other parts of the river where they would have germinated. Probably the few 
trees along the main river have been thus transported, but they are very few in 
number, so that it appears as if this method of spreading the species were of little 
avail and that like many other species the Palm exists only in a very restricted 
area. The reason why the Palm seeds do not germinat« freely when carried, as 
they must be, down into the main Finke is possibly due to the fact that the drying 
up waters along the latter arc frequently brackish in nature and so perhaps the 
vitality of the seeds may be impaired. Whilst plenty of very young seedlings were 
to be found along the Palm Creek scarcely one was seen along the main channel of 
the Finke. 

Along the gorge young Cycads {Eneephalartos Macdonmlli) were also found, 
but the adult plants, apart from those on the cliff sides already referred to, were 
few in number and were principally seen along the cliffs bounding one or two side 
streams which entered the main gorge. 

The tallest Palm was fully eighty feet in height and one or two of them had 
curious cork-screw trunks. It appeared to be rather like sacrile^ to touch the 
trees, but as we were anxious to find out if the leaf sheaths harboured any special 
forms of life, one, about sixty feet in height, was cut down. After carefully remov- 
ing every leaf the only animals found were a solitary cockroach and a bug : there 
was no trace of anything like a mollusc or a planarian worm sheltering under the 





broad Bheatbing leaf stalks — nor it may be added was there any trace of anioial life 
save an odd mollusc and an insect or two amongst the Cycads which were carefoUy 
searched. A view of the Palm Greek, such as the one figured, with a rock-pool in 
the foreground and the Faluis riBing above the scrub gives one almost the idea of 
a semi-tropical scene, but in reality there was none of the damp luxuriance wliich 
wc had hoped might perhaps be met with in this spot. Away from the margin 
of the water-pools everything was as dry as usual, but as we were anxious to 
examine the flora and fauna of the ranges more minutely than we had yet been 
able to do we determined to camp here, as it did not seem lik«Iy that we should 
find a more favourable spot. 

Accordingly we sent our black boy bock with a camel to the main camp, as 
previously arranged with Mr. Winnecke, for a supply of food, and then Messrs. 
Tate, Belt and myself spent three days searching up and down the creek itself, on 
the clifis bordering it and up the side streams flowing into it. 

It was our longest spell in one camp and our collections were considerably 
enhanced by the chance which it gave us of a more thorough examination of one 
spot than we hod been able hitherto to make, especially as regards smaller forms 
such as molluscs and insects, while at Hermannsburg the stay enabled Mr. 
Keartland to add largely to the collection of birds. 

A short account of the animal life of this spot will really serve to describe 
that which is generally met with around any of the water-holes amongst the 

In the water-holes there were at least six species of fish, none of which were 
as large as the bigger ones caught in the Redbank Creek. They were Tkerapon 
Irutaaus, T. percoides, Nematoctntris tatei, N. winneckei, Ekotris larapinttt and 
Chatoissus fiorni. The water-holes were all isolated from one another and had 
rocky beds with but little sond ; the smaller ones would soon dry up, but one or 
two of the larger ones which were some twenty yards long would probably persist 
for some length of time, though there were apparently none which would last 
through anytliing like a drought — not even a short one— as there was no constant 
supply of any kind such as exists in the sandy pools such as the one at Henbury, 
where the water is forced to rise to the surface after flowing along beneath the 

Of molluscs the pools contained six species — Melanla hahnnensis, Limnaa 
vinosa, Bulittus ttxturatus, B. dispar, Planorbis fragilis and Ancylus ausfraliats. 



Most of theae as might have been expected are widely distributed through the 
Larapintine region, but of one species, hidortlla newcomhi, which is otherwise 
widely distributed, we did not obtitiu any specimens. 

With the land molluscs, which have no such means of distribution as the 
fresh water ones, the case is very different. As Professor Tate has pointed out, 
and as was frequently impressed upon us whilst collecting, they occur in very 
contracted areas, sometimes as already noted in, for example, tlie cases of AngaseHa 
arcigerens and Liparvs ipenceri we only fouad single colonics. Out of a total of 
twenty-five species secured during the expedition fourtcea were found in and about 
Palm Creek, of which four, viz., Endodonta planorbuUna, Chhrilh sgvamulosa, 
Liparvs spenceri and Fupa ficulnea, were found nowhere else. Tliia remarkable 
restriction of species to small areas is very striking and is best exemplified amongst 
animals by tlie mollusca which, while they can persiat in sheltered spots, have very 
little opportunity owing bo climatic conditions of wandering far away from their 
hiding places and of establishing themselves elsewhere and so perhaps for long years 
a single colony will occupy a spot it may be only a few yards square. They arc in 
addition very liable to extinction, as when the rain falls it washes in torrents 
down the cliff sides on which they shelter, and as shown by the number of dead 
shells in the rejectamenta of the river all along its course numbers must get 
otrried away and perish ; just'those which are in the cracks and crevices and most 
sheltered spots alone being preserved. 

The pools were all full of clear water so that as usual the Estherias were dead, 
but that they exist during the time when the water is muddy was shown by the 
presence of their dried carapaces in one or two spots where the pools had dried up. 
There was only a single species (E. dkfyon) to be found ; its carapace was slightly 
more than an eighth of an inch in length, and when magnified was seen to have a 
raised network pattern between the lines of growth which hod the appearance of 
cells of a honeycomb cut across. It is a new species and was only met with in 
this one spot, but in the South Australian Museum are specimens of the same 
species the exact locality of which is not known, though they serve to show that 
it does exist elsewhere. 

The Estherias are more characteristic of the pools on loamy flats as they prefer 
muddy to clear water, in fact as before said they do not seem able to survive in 
the latter, and as along the Palm Creek there is very little sand or loam and the 
water lies in clear rock pools the surroundings are scarcely suitable for them. 
Around the edges of the pools little Hyks {^ff. ruhtUd) were found belonging to 



the one widely spread species and, where there waa sand, there tlie blocks wibliout 
difficulty obtained specimens of the burrowing frog, Linmodynasies ornalus. 

Lizards were not especially abundant, only eleven species being found. 
Amongst the Geckonidie species of Heterooota and Oehyra were found, and 
amongst the Pygopoclidte the tliin bodied and elongate Liali's burtoni. Tlio 
Agamidoi, so nunieroua in the sandy and loamy plains, were only represented by 
the widely spread Ampkibolunn reticulatus, whilst the most abundant forms 
belonged to the family Scincidte which was represented fay such widely spread 
forms as Egernia wkitii and HinuHa lesueurii. In addibion to these two, three 
species of skinks, viz., Rkodona bipes and Abhpharus g>'eyi and burlom were found 
here and nowhere else, and a single specimen was seen of a new red-toiled variety 
of Abhpharus Ihieo-ocellalus which is somewhat widely spread, being found from 
Alice Springs in the north to the Ooyder River in the south. 

A considerable amount of time was spent in collecting insects of various 
kinds :— under stones by the water-side there was of course the common little uarab 
Tachys spencert and two species of Staphylinidie, a small black and a larger black 
and red one {Fhilmlhus subdHgulaius and Crypiobius masUrst). Turn up any 
stone by the side of a water-bole in the James and McDonnell Ranges and you 
will be sure to find the first and at least one of tlie tatter two. 

The flowering shrubs were as usual disappointing. Cassia artemesioides was 
covered with masses of bright yellow blossom, but scarcely a single insect was to 
be secured by shaking except certain Curculionidte which were everywhere more 
in evidence than any other form of beetles. I never saw an insect in the CossU 
flowers, and it was a curious fact that though everywhere the shrubs were 
flowering luxuriantly the pods formed were but lew in number and most of them 
contained only ill-formed seeds. If the Sowers be entomopbilus as is most 
probably the case then they were evidently suffering from a lack of insect life 
which is probably to be associated witli the low temperature at night-time, and 
tlie frequent occurrence now that it was (July) mid-winter of a biting south-east 
wind during the day-time. 

To secure beetles in Central Australia you really want to be tliere during 
the rainy season — in fact during a succession of seasons lor just before and just 
after a heavy rainfall they appear for a sliort time and tlien rapidly disappear. 

However, during our three days' spell at Palm Creek forty-seven species were 
collected of which twenty-five were new. To anyone who has hod the experience 
of collecting in Central Australia during the dry months when at night your water 



bagB are frozen solid this will not probably appear so small a number as it will 
to those whose collecting has been done in more favouruble spots. During the 
whole Expedition we secured one hundred and seventy-Heven species of which 
sixty-six are new. The large proportion obtained during three days in one spot 
was due to the fact that we had one of our rare spells and were able to do a 
little more careful searching, but, judging by the way in which throughout the 
ranges we came upon the same animal time after time, I do not think it very 
likely that the spending of a longer time in other parts would, at this particular 
seoson of the year, have added proportionately to the collection of Coleoptera though 
of course it would have added a certain number of new forms. 

The same or any other spot would undoubtedly yield different species at a 
different season or time, and so far as collecting insects of all kinds is concerned it 
must be remembered that our work was done during the most unfavourable season. 

Amongst the Arachuida the more common forms were a species of Myriapod 
resembling a Scolopendm and the Cermatia (Scutigera), which appears to bo 
identical with the one commonly found in other parts of Australia such as Oipps- 
land in Victoria. In some parts of the world, as for example in Malta,* they are 
described as coming out into the blazing sun in search of their prey. I have 
collected a considerable number of Myriapods in various parts of Australia, such 
OS Victoria, Tasmania, Queensland and the Central district, but have never yet 
seen a Scutigera out in the open. They always lie under logs or stones or the 
bark of trees and when disturbed always move away with remarkable speed into a 
dark spot. Their legs move in such a way and so n^idly that you can only see as 
it were a series of waves passing down each side of the body, and there is in 
Australia at all events no Myriapod which in speed of movement is to be compared 
with the Cermatia. 

Sometimes they are beautifully coloured with the flattened, plate-like terga 
blue and red and their gliding movement is so rapid that it is no easy matter to 
catch them without the loss of a few legs, which come off almost with the slightest 

The Scorpions at Palm Creek were found under stones. These creatures 
adapt themselves to the nature of the country in which they happen to live. If it 
bn a rocky spot then they live under stones, if it be amongst the sandhills then 
they burrow. At Crown Point for example, in sandhill country you could, during 

■ P«ilp*tua, Myrliipodi and Inserto, Pt L. Ounb. Nut Htat. p. V>. 



the day timo, only secure a scorpion by digging it out of ite burrow. The latter 
con easily be distinguished by the marks at the entrance wade by the legs of the 
animal. There is a small hole on the surface with a little flattened-out heap of 
sand marked all over by curious and very characteristic liuea as if the blunt edge 
of a knife had been pressed down on the sand in such a way that all the short 
depressions thus mode in the sand converged towards the mouth of the burrow. 
To tiiid the animal you may have to go down four or five feet till you come to a 
small chamber in which it lies at rest during the day time. 

Amongst other Arachnids the most iuteresting were two species of, or allied 
to, Chelifer, one under the bark of a tea tree (Melaleuca ep.), the other amongst 
the dibris under a fig tree. 

Spiders were fairly plentiful ; we secured in this part eleven species, of which 
the most abundant was a species of Isopeda which here as elsewhere was to be found 
under the shelter of stones close to the edge of a water-hole. Probably this species 
feeds on the small beetles belonging principally to the Carabidte and StaphilinidtD 
found in the same situation. Amongst plants the two moat striking forms, the 
Cycad and the Palm, have already been alluded to. In the water-holes Naiai 
major (the fruit of which was obtained only here), Potamogetort Tepperi unci 
Triglochin caUilrapa were growing, and around some of them wore thick beds of 
bulrushes and reeds. The saxatile plants were those characteristic of the region ; 
fig trees of two species {Ficus piatypoda and F. orbicularis), and growing amongst the 
figs and sheltered and supported by them was a species of native orange {Capparis 
spinoia), very different in the nature of its lax growth from its more common ally 
C. Miichilli, which forcns at times a small tree on the rocky hill sides. Here and 
there were odd shrubs of the red-flowering GrevUlea agri/olia, with a mistleto 
{Loranlhus gibberulus) parasitic upon it Patches of Cassia venusta with yellow 
blossom, and of Bremophilos with pink and lavender bloom grew on little flats 
often high up the rocky sides, and here and there the large yellow flowers of 
Uibbertia glaberrtma stood out, often forming the only bit of bright colour in a 
shady gorge. 

The characteristic plants of the Upper Steppes are to be found amongst what 
Professor Tate has described as the saxatile species, that is those growing on the 
sides of the gorges, on the basal part of the escarpments of the hills and on the 
talus which slopes down from the escarpment U> the valley below. Out of seventy 
species of flowering plants found growing on and restricted to the rocks no fewer 
tlian sixty-three are endemic. The saxatile flora of tills region has jn recent 
years been found to extend to outlying ranges such as Mount Olga, and the 



Mu^nive and Everard Ranges iu South Australia, and on tfae Caveuugfa Range 
in West Australia, 60 that botanically these may be regarded as outliers of the 
Higher Steppes. 

AfWr three days hard work in the Palm Creek we reluctantly returned to the 
main camp as it was necessary for us to push on towards Alice Springs. Early in 
the afternoon we reached Hermannsburg, and the rest of the day was spent in 
packing up and labelling all the specimens secured. This always occupies a 
considerable amount of time, and must be done carefully if the animals are not to 
bo spoilt, Each fish for example must be separately wrapped up in calico or 
muslin or else the fins get broken and the scales rubbed off. 

At Hermannsburg Mr. Keartland had been hard at work amongst the birds. 
The most important addition mode here to the collection was a new species of 
Xerophila {X. nigridiKta) which is distinguished from its close ally, X. ptctoralis, 
found in the Port Augusta district, by the presence of a black instead of a cinna- 
mon-brown band across the chest. Amongst the scrub were a largo number of the, 
popularly called, superb warblers and as usual the dull-coloured females were far 
more numerous than thoir richly-coloured mates, who kept out of sight as much 
as possible as if they were quite aware that their brilliant colouration would make 
them too conspicuous objects to their enemies for them to be safe in the open. 
Their rich, sapphire and cobalt-bluo colour set off with patches of brown and white 
and jet black bands render them perhaps the most beautiful of all the birds seen 
in the scrub. There were three different species to be seen, Malurus melanotus, 
M. lamberti and M. kucopUrvs, of which little flocks of the two latter were often 
found feeding sociably on the same bush. 

Here and elsewhere the " cat bird " {Pomatostomus rubeculus) attracted atten- 
tion to itself. Its call is a most peculiar one — ^just like the mewing of a cat — and 
tlie birds which are very sociable are constantly uttering their cries as tliey jump 
from branch to branch aud perform most curious antics, At Henbury Mr. 
Keartland watched three birds carrying wool from an old sheep skin to a nest 
whilst a fourth was engaged iu arranging it, so that very likely two pairs 
may share a single nest. This bird was one of the comparatively few ranging 
southwards into the Central district from North and North-west Australia. 

The black boys had caught a good number of a common mouse which Mr. 
Waite has described as new under tfae name of Mus hermannsburgtnsis. It 
appears to bo veiy common in the Missionary Plains and along with it they hod 
also captured two male speciineas of Antechinomys laniger which is one of the 



ntrest and most diificult to secure of the smaller marsupials. At first sight in 
shape, size and colour when hopping along on the ground it bears a striking 
resemblance to the little rodent Hapalotis mitckeUi which is widely distributed 
over the central district but it is more slender in build and of course the sliape of 
the head, when seen close to, distinguishes it at once. The most numerous of the 
smaller mammals are undoubtedly the various species of Mus and Hapalotis, next 
to them but far less commott is probably Sminlhopsis crasstmudala. The scarcity 
of Antechinomys is rather strange as its habits do not bring it into direct 
competition with the rodents except bo far aa each of them has taken on the 
same method of travelling by jumping. All the small rodents and the marsupials 
referred to live side by side in burrows on the hard loamy flats amongst the sciub, 
and ill the matter of speed the niarsupials, so far hs can he judged, can get over 
the ground as rapidly as the rodents. 

It ia, however, quite possible that the female when carrying young is some- 
what handicapped and may l>c more easily caught by birds of prey and, as noted 
elsewhere, a very slight difference in speed when a hawk is in punfuit and the 
little animal is seeking the shelter of a bush or tussock of grass may save, or lose 
it, its life. 

Od Monday, 9th July, we left Hermannsburg and travelled eastwards over 
the Missionary Plains. At noon we struck the Ellery Creek bordered with good 
sized red-gums and containing along its bed a few scattered water-holes ; a few 
miles to the south of us it ran into a gorge in the James Raoge on its way to 
join the Finke to the south of the Glen of Palms. 

The plain was slightly undulating and covered with the usual scrub of Mallee 
gum (principally Etualyptus oleosa), Mulga, Cassias aad Eremophilas. There were 
now and again very fine specimens, as much as forty or fifty feet in height, of 
Acaci't saiieina the leaves of which in some cases hung down below the twigs 
leaving these bare above, so much so that the tree had sometimes the appearance 
of a weeping willow. In other cases the pendant arrangement was nothing like 
so strongly marked. We saw also in various parts curious modifications of the 
Mulga ; its foliage varied considerably in hue from an olive-green to bluish-grey. 
Amongst the sandhills, for example, between Lake Amadous and Ayers Bock the 
latter tint prevailed and in addition the thin branches were given off almost 
horizontally from a central stem forming a tree of a very different appearance 
from that seen in most parte where the branches were nothing like bo horizontally 
disposed but more divergent like the ribs of a fan and the foliage was more olive- 
green in colour. 



lu tlio nccompoDyiug illustration two MulgA trees are sliowo; the Mulga 
scrub to which such frequent reference is made in nil descriptions of the interior 
of A.ustra]ia consists of a dense growth of trees such as these. Their thin, wiry 
brandies, when dead, are like long thorns and are very apt to run into the feet of 
horses or camels and frei^uently give rise to painful, festering eores. As a general 
rule the trees, which do not usually reach a much greater height than fifteen or 
twenty foct and often less, grow very close together — so close that, next perhaps 
to travelling over Porcupine-covered sandhills, the penetration of Mulga scrub is 
the most disagreeable and disheartening task attendant upon journeying through 
Central Australia. 

We camped in the scrub after travelling some twenty miles. Our time wae 
rapidly drawing to a close as we were really due back in Adelaide at the beginning 
of August and it was now 9th July and we were still some little distance from 
Alice Springs, the journey down from which even though it lay along the overland 
track would occupy some three weeks. 

Mr. Horn's rough sketch of the route which he desired us if possible to follow 
indicated our striking somewhat northwards again bo as to reach the Mc1>onndt 
Ranges at or about Paisley Bluff. Mr. "Winnecke's previous experience showed that 
there would be very great difficulty attending upon any attempt to take the main 
camel train across the ranges, in fact that it was out of the question to try to do 
BO. It was therefore decided that the main train under charge of Dr. Stirling 
should continue travelling eastwards along the Missionary Plains and then reach 
Alice Springs by way of Owens Springs, always keeping to the south of the 



McDonnells. A snukll party coasisting of Messrs. Tate, Belt and myself with Mr. 
Winnecke was to make for Puisley Bluff and there find some way right through 
the ranges to the Burt Plain and then travel eastwards to Alice Springs. 

Next morning we started off travelling north-west aci-oss the undulaUng plaiw 
with every now and then patches of travertine and stony flats. In the att«rnoon 
as we got nearer to the range we saw a long series of low, jumbled hills, above and 
behind which rose high peaks which were evidently Paisley and Briakley Blufis. 

Kangaroos, red males and grey females, and Bettongiua, were fairly abundant 
and there were plenty of large, wedge-tailed eagles flying about and perching on 
the trees close to us, some of them very light, others very dark brown in colour. 
The Mulga scrub got thicker and what with this and the Porcupine covered hills 
il was rather rough travelling. Just at sunset we got into a regular jumble of the 
rounded Porcupine grass hills, which, as before, looked quite smooth and beautifully 
down-like in the distance. After following up a small valley into the hills Mr. 
Winnecke luckily came across a small spring issuing from the conglomerate rock 
of which the hill was formed. As the previous night had been spent at a water- 
less camp we were glad to give the two horses which we hod with us a drink. 
Where it issued from the ground the water was quite warm, but it only formed 
one or two very small pools each about a yard long and an inch or two deep and 
then disappeared. 

We camped amongst the tea-tree by the side of a dry creek, and in the 
morning sending the camek and horses round the base of the hitl we climbed up to 
the top above the spring to get a general idea of the country. As far as we could 
see the Missionary Plains stretched away to the west their flat surface broken only 
in one spot where the solitary Oosse Range stood out. To tlie south was the 
northern part of the James Range known as the Waterbouse which was continuous 
at its weetem end with the Krichauff Range, while eastwards it treaded towards 
the north so as gradually to narrow in the plain between it and the McDonnells on 
the southern ridge of which we were standing. 

Across the plain to the east of its a streak of gum trees marked the course of 
the Hugh River which ran right into the Waterhouse Range. It appeared to end 
abruptly against the latter, but in reality it passes as usual right through it in a 
gorge at Owen Springs. We were standing on the hills bounding the Horn Valley 
to the south and to the north of us east and west stretched the McDonnell Range 
in which Paisley and Brinkley Bluff and Mount Conway stood out conspicuously. 
Climbing down the hill we joined the camels and soon came out into a level Mulga 



flat — the HorD Valley — and then, following up n branch of the Hugh, passed 
through the ridge bouadiiig the vallej on the north, the ridges being cut through 
here by one or two dry goVges. Emerging from one of these narrow gorges we 
found ourselves on a plain perlmps three-quarters of a. mile wide running east and 
wesb with masses of gneissic rock projecting here and there. To the north of us 
lay the McDonnells proper and the plain along which we travelled eastward was 
evidently continuous with that which lay at the base of Mount Sonder and on 
which we had previously camped at the junction of the Davenport and Bedbook 

After about two miles easy traverse we came to the Hugh River and halted 
for an hour by the side of a small water-hole just close to where the Hugh runs in 
a deep got^e through the ridge on the north of the Horn Valley. 

We were rather surprised to find camel tracks — evidently recent ones in the 
sond by the side of the water-hole. They could only have been made by Mr, 
Watt's party, as no one else was likely to be travelling in the district, and our 
black boy said that they were only a day or two old. 

Our difficulties now began as we wanted to find some way in which to pass 
through the ranges to the north of us. After a short halt we travelled eastwards 
hoping to find a way round the base of Mount Conway, but finding this 
impracticable we retraced our steps and followed the Hugh. The country was 
rough and rocky and by no means easy work for camels, but aft«r some few miles 
we came to a good water-bole, and late in the afternoon camped in a most 
picturesque spot just to the south of Paisley Bluff. This water-bole was in a gap 
in a range flanking the main one. 

The main branch of the Hugh ran eastwards from our camp for half a mile in 
the v,i)1ey between us and the high ridge, from which rose in front of us Paisley 
Bluff, and to the north-fast Briukley Bluff. We made our camp, sleeping as usual 
in the open on the soft sand of the creek bed. In the gum trees the " mopokes " 
{JVint/x boobook) were calling to one another, and as it was bright moonlight we 
could see the dingos sneaking round our camp, but our presence and camp fire 
evidently prevented them from coming to water. 

As this would be our last chance of collecting in the ranges we determined to 
spell for a day. Early next morning we were out collecting, and followed up a 
branch creek to the base of Paisley BluflF. It ran through a narrow gorge at the 
western base of the Bluff. The bed was strewn with rocks of various sizes, 



amongst which were ft few very small and shallow water-pools. White stemmed 
gum trees (E. fertnirta/i's), ft large species of Melaleuca, with papery bark and 
reaching a height of forty feet, and shrubs such as Cassia glulinosa with its yetiow 
flowers, and Grevillea agrifolia with clustors of red lilossom were growing amongst 
the rocks and filling up the small space left between the precipitous cliffs, the sidts 
of which were studded with pines and cycads. 

The animal life was just the same as that to which we had grown accustomed 
around the water-holes amongst the ranges. A few species of beetles and 
myriapods, and the little frog Hyla rubella were abundant under the stones close 
to the water. On the hill sides rock wallabies were nunierous, but thora was the 
same disappointing absence of anything like a rich and varied fauna. Stones 
could be turned up, flowering shrubs shaken, and hark stripped off trees hour after 
hour without finding anything to reward one's labour except peihaps a new 
mollusc sheltering in the dibris beneath the fig trees, or hiding in crevices amongst 
the stones. I gave up finally alt idea of finding any such thing as Feripatus, or a 
land planarian, or anything more than a stray earthworm in a country where it 
may be for months together the only moist place lies actually in a water-hole. 

It was only the quiet accumulation of specimens gathered day after day which 
resulted in the finding of as many forms of animal life as we did but the total yield 
was in no degree commensurate with the amount of time spent in obtaining it, and 
the most galling thought was that just a day or two's rain would bring out from 
their secure hiding places so many animals of whose existence not a trace was now 
to be seen. At the same time I should be much surprised if even after rain such 
soft-bodied animals as land planarians or slugs were to be found as the class of 
country is pre-eminently unsuited to them. 

We could not help being struck with the dominance of particular forms 
amongst both animals and plants. Amongst the former of course atits were the 
most notable, but in addition to these which were found under every stone or log — 
I doubt if ever we turned up one without finding an ant except such as were right 
at the water's edge and even here they were sometimes to be seen — there were 
other dominant forms such as certain species of Garabidte and more especially of 
Curcnlionidie. At the time of our visit the latt«r was, apart from flies and ants, in 
point of number of specimens by far the most extensively represented family of 
insects whilst amongst the amphibia the little Hyla rubeila was found at every 
water-hole from the Adminga Creek in the south to Alice Springs in the north, and 
westwards right throughout the ranges. 



Amongst plants certain genera vere equally dominant. On the flats and along 
the valleys amongst the ranges Cassias, Acacias (especially A. aneura), Eremophilas 
and Eucalypts formed the mass of the v^^tntion and on the rocks the Pine tree, 
whilst the Porcupine gross (Triodia sp.) dominated alike both valleys and the 
rockiest hill sides. 

Under a block of quartzit« in the bed of the gorge I came across a small nest 
of hon<>y ants of which numerous specimens have since been found by Mr. Cowle. 
It was a rery different form of nest from that of Campotwtus injlalus but this was 
probably only a young colony. Burrows branched off in nil directions but did not 
go far down. The auts were of a rich golden colour and the insects were nothing 
like so swollen out ns in those of the first-named species. Though their abdomens 
were inflated so that the terga and sterna were all separated from one another still 
they were capable of a certain amount of movement. 

In the Mulga scrub at the base of the range there were two forms of ant 
nests which were frequently met with everywhere amongst the scrub from Ayers 
Rock in the south to the Burt Plains in the north. One has the form of a mound 
upwards of two feet in diameter and about six inches high, with a large, crater- 
like depression at the top. Around the sides of the mound the ants arrange a 
thick deposit of dead Mulga leaves all placed radially in a perfectly regular 
manner. The other mound is the same size but instead of the crater depression it 
has a slit from three to six inches In length and half an inch to an inch in width 
and is always covered over with various kinds of dried grass seeds ; the nest is 
inhabited by one of the numerous species of Camponotus (C. denticulatus). Both 
of them have passages leading away in various directions, but though I spent some 
tinie here and elsewhere in trying to follow them up the hard, stony ground 
prevented this being done satisfactorily and the large black ante inhabiting them, 
which were from half to three-quarters of an inch in length, enforced a certain 
amount of carefulness as they naturally objected to having their homes broken up. 

It is diGGcult to see what is the use of the Mulga leaves and the grass seeds 
OS I could detect nothing such as a fungoid growth amongst them, though this 
might be present under difiercnt climatic conditions, or anything which could be 
of service to the ants, and whilst the Mulga leaves might serve to drain off water 
during the rain season the grass seeds would rather have the opposite effect. 

After spending the day collecting in the gorge and along the flate by the 
creek and on the hill side we went back to camp and found that the block boy 
had brought in five rock wallabies {Pelroga/e lateralis). This is at once (Jis- 



tiagaiahftble by the light line along either side of its body and though usually 
spoken of as the West Australinn rock wallaby it ia widely <lbtributed over the 
Centre, occurring on the Desert Sandstone ranges and throughout the George Gill, 
Levi, James and McDonnell Ranges, in fact it ia probably to be found amongst all 
the bill country of the Central area. 

The average length of the body is two feet and the tail is just the same length 
08 the l)ody. Three of the specimens were females and each of them had a single 
young one in the pouch, so that probably this may be regarded ns the usual 
number produced at each birth. The young ones grow to a considerable size 
before leaving the pouch, and as the rock wallaby lives exclusively amongst the 
hills, never apparently spending any time in the flats, a large number of young 
ones to be carried about at a time would be a serious handicap in a rt^gion where 
birds of prey such as the wedge-tailed eagle are constantly on the look out 
tor food. 

The explanation of the way in which such an animal as the rat or the rabbit 
if introduced into a region previously occupied liy marsupials soon exceeds in 
number the lower forms is probably closely connected with this manner of carrying 
the young. 

In the first place, at an age when a young marsupial at sight of danger at 
once flies to ite mother's pouch a young rat or rabbit is taking care of itself. If 
a hawk or eagle catches the mother rabbit the young one is left or vice versa. In 
the case of a marsupial the mother has to carry the young onee, and not only does 
the extra weight prevent her gaining shelter but, if caught, both she and the 
young ones are sacrificed. As already pointed out, a very alight difference in 
speed will save or lose the animal its life. When hard pressed a kangaroo will 
throw the young out of the pouch so as to be able to travel faster. In fact thia 
halnt of carrying the young one for so long in the pouch is a severe handicap for 
a marsupial when it comes in contact with a rodent, for though they may not 
compete with one another directly so far as their food supply is concerned — though 
many of them do this — still they both have to avoid a common enemy in bhe 
nature of birds of prey. In the cose of such smaller marsupials as, for example, 
species of Smiathopsis in which the number of young produced at a birth is from 
eight to ten and there are at least two broods in each year it is a matter of 
considerable surprise that they are not much more numerous than they are. The 
explanation Is probably associated with the fact that there is a considerable length 
of time during which not only does the capture of the mother result in her 



destruction fuid in that of all the young onos, but that during this period she is 
sevArety handicapped by not being able to reach shelter rapidly. It may perhaps 
be objected to this that such an animal as a rabbit is handicapped by having to 
carry the young ones in utero for n much longer time than the marsupial does, hut 
anyone who has seen the wcll-dcvclopcd, pouch young ones of a marsupial will 
reatine how much more cumbersome a burden they are than the uterine embryos 
of such an animal as a wild rabbit 

Early on the morning of 13th July we left camp intending if possible to get 
throagh the ranges and camp the next night on the Burt Plains. Leaving 
Paisley Bluff to the west we followed up the Hugh until we came to the gorge, 
through which it has cut a way for itself just at the eastern base of Brinkley 
Bluff. This spot is interesting, as it was through this very gorge that in March, 
1860, McDouall Stuart was able to make his way ncroes the McDonnells and to 
reach for the first time the centre of the continent. The creek bed in the gorge 
was occupied by a water-hole leaving just enough room for the camels to pass. 
North of the gorge we found ourselves in a jumble of low hills covered witli 
Porcupine grass, Kremophilas, Cassias and Acacias, and at noon halted by a 
water-hole to give the camels and horses a rest. 

To the south of us the main range could bo seen stretching east and west with 
Brinkley Bluff standing out clearly ; to the north nothing but low rough hills 
could be seen. About five or six miles north of the range we crossed the 
watershed, and from this onwards the small creeks flowed northvrards. 

For some hours we were winding in and out and over the hills — very 
difficult travelling for the camels. Just at sunset we led them up a high gneiasic 
range and with considerable difficulty, as ugly rocky ledges hod to be climbed, 
we reached the top and saw stretching far away to the northern Loriion the 
broad, scrub-covered Burt Plains, To the north-west lay Mount Solitaire, and 
away in the distance isolated hills could be seen, whilst eastwards the McDonnell 
Range trended somewhat towards the north. 

It required considerable care to take the camels safely down the steep face of 
the hill, but at length we reached the plain and camped at dusk in the sandy bed 
of a dry creek. 

A flock of more than fifty black cockatoos were screeching overhead evidently 
much disturbed by our appearance on the scene. We had only travelled in a direct 
line some sixteen miles, but the country hod been so rough and diflicult that it had 
token UB ten hours' hard work in which to traverse this short distance. 



At Brinkley Bluff we had been aurprieeil to see the tracks of Mr. Watt's 
party returning eoubhwards, so it was evident that he had not been able to make 
his way across the hills to the Burt Plains. We ieame<l subsequently that ho had 
nttomptcd to cross more to the westward, but as lie and the two prospectors with 
him were travelling with only one baggage camel to carry provisions the likelihood 
of striking the Burt Plain at a long distance from any water supply had very 
wisely caused them to turn south again into the ranges. They had followed down 
the Hugh under Brinkley Bluff to the wnter-hole by which we had first seen their 
tracks and then had struck eastward to the south of the main range and so had 
reached Alice Springs. 

Oar camp on the plain was at a height of 2185 feet and the night as aaunl 
was very cold. AH the next day we travelled eastwards along the base of the 
hills through the open scrub. The ground was. covered with dried-up yellow grass 
and the scrub of Mulga, Cassias, Santalutn and gum trees was as monotonous as 
usual. Every now and again a small gum creek ran out for a short distance away 
from the hills, but everything was perfectly dry except at one spot (Painta Springs) 
where there was a small soakage with one or two small water-pools in which we 
secured a few golden-spotted water beetles. 

A well has been sunk here by the side of which a large date palm is growing 
and the relics of feeding troughs show that it has once been used as a watering 
place for one of the outlying cattle runs. This spot and the Missionary Station at 
Hermannsbtlrg were the only two at which we saw the Date Palm, though n 
considerable number of seeds have been planted by different explorers in what 
appeared to them to be suitable spots. 

At one spot we came across a small patch of the mound nests of what are 
called the meridian or compass ants. These are found in other parts of Australia 
such 08 near Cape York and Port Darwin and the curious feature about them is 
that the mound, which is three or four or even five feet high, is flattened from 
aide to side in such a way that the broad sides face east and west, and the narrow 
ends north and south. As it tapers upwards it has, seen from the north or south, 
a wedge shape. There were altogether perhaps a hundred of these occupying half 
an acre of ground and their shape and bright red colour render them very striking 
objects. Unfortunately we met with them in the middle of a long march when 
it was quite impossible to stop and examine them and my hope that we should 
afterwards meet with others in similar country was not realized. They are made 
and occupied by a species of Termite or white ant and the only other white ant 
mounds which we saw were a few small, grey-coloured ones about eighteen inches 
high on some flats near Lake Amadeus. 



At about twenty-five miles from our last camp wc once more struck the over- 
liind telegraph line and the track which runs atrnight (icrosa Auatraliii from Port 
Parwin in the north to Adelaide in tlie south. There is no difficulty in following 
tliis and after going on for about two miles to the south we camped and in the 
morning reached Alice Springs. The Tel^raph Station lies in ft picturesque spot 
just to the north of the main McDonnell Rnnge. After halting for a few minutes 
at the station we went on along the Todd River and through the small township 
of Stuart to the Heavitree Gap on the south side of which we found the camel 
train camped. In the evening we retraced our steps to the Tel^raph Station 
where we wore made welcome by Mr. and Mrs. Gillcn and, through the kindness of 
Sir Charles Todd, we were enabled to communicate by telegraph with our friends 
in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney. After a rest of thi'ee days which were 
utilized in collecting round Alice Springs, the main party travelled southward:) 
following the well beaten track to Oodiiadatta, which was reached early in August. 

At Alice Springs the expodition practically came to an end, but Mr, Watt 
and myself stayed behind, the former to pay a flying visit to the gold and so-called 
ruby fields, whilst my own time though fully occupied with work of various kinds 
was spent more pleasantly as the guest of Mr. and Mrs. (rillen at the stntion. Mr. 
Gillen kindly sent blacks out in search of animals which I was especially anxious 
to secure and to make sketches of and colour notes with regard to, in their living 
state, as our travelling had been so hurried that there had been little chance of 
doing this whilst we were on the march. I was also especially anxious to 
secure if possible soaie more specimens of a small new marsupial i^Phascolofiah 
macdonnelhnsis)y and to watch the so-called "barking spider" in its natural state. 
Of the former only a single specimen had been obtained, and this was a male. 
Fortunately the blacks caught two more whilst I was there, bo^ of them females. 
They are very active little creatures the size of a small rat but with a great 
swollen tail which is strongly incrassatcd, They live amongst the big blocks of 
rock on thi; hill side, and so are very difficult to secure especially in the dry winter 
months when they do not come out The offer of a shirt and a lot of tobacco 
failed to secure more than two, though since we returned I have received several 
more, thanks to Mr. Field and Mr. Qillen. 

This curiously fat tail is seen not only in this marsupial but also in 
Phascolo^ate crtstt'cauda and Sminthopsii larapinla, and an examination of the tail 
of each of these species shows that the swelling is due to the deposition of a great 
amount of fatty material ; in fact when the skin is cut through, the back bone is 
found to be embedded in a surroonding swollen mass made up of fat and yellow 
elastic tissue. The tail seems to be equally swollen out at all seasons of the year. 



A rodent captured at Alice Springs and described by Mr. Waite under the 
name of Coniiurus (Hapalotii) pedunculalui has nlso a somew)iat swollen tail, but 
in this case it is also brittle and pieces of it snap off easily when handled : possibly, 
03 Mr. Waite suggests, the breaking off may, as in the case of lizards, be useful in 
aiding the animal to avoid capture by the loss of part or all of its tail, but in the 
specimens yet secured, though it is the exception to find one with a perfect tail, 
there is no appearance of any fresh growth indicating tliat the lost part can be 
replaced by subsequent growth. 

At the Alice Springs there is still the same general arrangement of the 
ranges as was niet with elsewhere, but owing to the general width of the valley 
through which the Todd flows there is no difficulty except when the narrow 
Heavitree Gap is tilled with water in traversing the ranges from north to south. 
At this point the McDonnells are about twenty miles in width. The low jumble 
of hills flanking the main range on the north are from ten to twenty miles wide. 
At the southern end of these lies the Telegraph Station by the side of the Todd, 
which is here of considerable width, but as usual in the dry winter months its 
sandy bed contains only a few pools of water. The station is built on a high bank 
by the side of a pool which lies at the base of a projecting rocky cliff, on which 
grow Gg trees, and on the southern aspect the very pretty white flowering 
Plumbago (P. ZeUaniea). 

About a mile and a half to the south of the station the main ridge of the 
McDonnells is crossed. Just at this point its height is insignific-int, but away to 
tl)e west high peaks such as Mount Conway can be seen arising from it. Then 
follows a broad Sat valley on which is built the little township of Stuart. It 
consists of a few stores and the inevitable hotel : camel teams not iufrer|uently 
pass up and down the telegraph line bringing stores to the township, telegraph 
stations and outlying cattle runs, and one or more of them are often to be seen 
camped outside the township in the scrub. 

This valley is a continuation of the one which lies at the base of Mount 
Sender. To the south it is bounded by a high ridge — the most prominent feature 
in this part — of which the highest point is Mount tiillen, the top of the escarpment 
of which is fully 3,000 feet in height. A bold precipice, facing north, three or 
four hundred feet high is succeeded by a steep talus. 

Through this ridge the Todd breaks in a fine gorge known as Heavitree Gap ; 
on the sandy bed, ns is usual in the larger gorges, the red gum grows and a few 
cycads are dotted about on the precipitous cliffs. To the south of the gorge comes 



Another wide valley, the enstern continuntion of the Horn Vnlley. In this tlic 
police camp is placed and here, close to the Hcavitrec, was our camp. Then 
came another range cut through by anotlicr gap and then a broad valley, the 
continuntion of the Missionary Plains. 

Within a radius of twelve or fifteen miles of the Alice Springs station are 
some of the most picturesque gorges to be found amongst the ranges. To the east 
lies Emily Gap, some twenty or thirty yards wide, completely closed by a dpep 
water-pool ; westwards from this we come to the Heavitrce Gap and then aliout 
twelve miles still further west is Temple Bar Gap with a broad sandy and gum tree 
covered bed, and still further west again is the gorge through which the Jay flows 
south to join the Hugh River. All these lie in the ridge forming the northern 
boundary of the Horn Valley. Just to the north of Temple Bar, only cutting 
through the main McDonnells, is Simpson's Gap, perhaps the most picturesque of 
all, with its rugged precipitous red rocks rising abruptly on either side of a deep 
water-pool not more than fifteen feet in width. 

Shortly after our arrival at Alice Springs we had been shown by Mr. P. Squire 
the empty carapaces of a large Phyllopod animal. It looked as if it belonged to a 
very large flattened E^theria nearly an inch in length. Accordingly, under the 
guidance of Mr. Field, one of the Telegraph Station staff, Professor Tiite and 
myself went out to a big clay-pan known as Conlin Lagoon. Our way lay along 
the Todd to the south of the ranges and then we struck along the easterly 
continuation of the Missionary Plains, hero not more than a mile brood. 

Turning west we passed the racecourse, the scene of considerable excitement 
at Christmas time when the annual meeting is held, attended by all of the scattered 
inhabitants of the central district for several hundred miles around. The Grand 
Stand, made of planks and brushwood, looked, being out of the season, somewhat 
dilapidated, and the lawn and flat were occupied by a hard, sun-baked and cracked 
expanse of dried mud, the course being indicated by a wide circle of posts at 
' intervals. Between the course and the township of Stuart, which during the 
racing carnival is crowded, lies the Heavitree Gap, through which all traffic must 
take place, and it one of the summer downpours happens to occur suddenly during 
a race-day, then to the excitement of the racing is added that of the chance of n 
flood coming quickly down the gap and cutting off the rotreat to the township. 
In Central Australia a river bed quite dry in the morning and hard to traverse by 
reason of its thick soft sand may in a few hours t>e transformed into a roaring 
torrent However when we passed it the gap was quite dry and the Grand Stand, 
lawn and flat deserted. 



Some few miles to the east we came upOQ the lagoon which is in reality only 
a clay-pan. At the time of our visit, that is during the dry season, it was still of 
considerable size being about a quarter of a mile wide and three^uarters of a mile 
in length, but the indications of flood on the surrounding flats show that in the 
rain season it must be of considerable extent. It is simply a shallow depression 
between the two ranges — not more than at most Ave feet deep with a clay-sand 
bed serving to retain for a time the water which drains into it as there is no outlet 
either east or west. Water beetles were darting up and down in the muddy water 
and in the main lagoon Esthtria packardl with its blood-red appendages was to be 
seen but not a trace of the larger form (Limnadopsis iqiUrei) alive. Even the 
empty carapaces were quit* confined to the dried up and scrub covered flats to the 
south and east of the lagoon, and there they were abundant. We could not even 
find a dried carapace of an Apus, in fact the only ones secured during the 
Expedition were two dilapidated specimens found by Mr. Watt and myself during- 
our return journey along the Stevenson Creek, but as the termination of the 
abdomen was wanting it was impossible to say whether they had belonged to the 
genus Apus or Lepidums. 

We were very disappointed at not securing the Estherla-like animal alive 
but collected a number of the carapaces though these alone were not sufficient 
for purposes of identification. Fortunately as previously said I secured a few 
specimens of the entire animal during my subsequent visit to Charlotte Waters 
just after the rains had fallen, a year later, and then also obtained another closely 
allied species of which not even the carapaces were to be seen at Conlin Lagoon. 
Though Mr. Squire hoe carefully searched for the animal in the same spot during 
the two recent seasons he has not been able to find a single living specimen. The 
animal belongs to a new genua closely allied to Estheria and Limnadia. and has 
been described by Mr. Hall and myself under the name of LimnadopsU squirei, 
the other species secured along the Stevenson being called L. tattt. The genus 
is not however confined to the central region as Professor Tate had previously 
collected a few carapaces of another species (Z. bmnntui) in the Northern 

The periodicity of occurrence of certain animals in this central area of the 
continent has already been alluded to and is well shown in the case of Litnna- 
dopsis. Amongst the Crustacea there are certain species which always seem to 
be obtainable after rain and certain others which are not so certain to appear in 
any particular spot, though they may previously have been collected ^ere in large 



Take the day-pans about Alice Spriogs for example during the past three 
seasons. Apus appears to liavo always been present at the HgKt time. Once, 
three years ago, Limaadopsis squirei was abundant and has nut been seen since 
though carefully searched for; Esiheria packardi on the other hand is always 
present and persists in its three varieties, var. typUa, canctUata and minor, as long 
as muddy pools remain. Ltmnadopsis latei has not yet been found. 

At Charlotte Waters and in the neighbourhood Apus is always to be found 
for a, short time ; Estheria packardi in abundance and Eitheria iutraria may be 
relied upon. 

Last year (1896) Limnadopsis squirei and Z. tatei were found but have not 
apparently put in their appearance this year (1896), whilst a recent gathering 
mode by Mr, Byrne contains a new species of Lininadia which was certainly not 
to be found in the clay-pools there during the previous year. Of course the forms 
not met with in the pools searched may be and probably are developed elsewhere, 
but it shows how certain forms are dominant and seems to suggest a greater power 
of adaptaliility on their part to such influences perhaps as variation in length of 
drought and it is at the same time worth noting that the constantly recurring, 
dominant forms, e^., Apus and Estheria spp., are just those which have bright red 
blood, whilst the forms of irregular occurrence, Euliminadia and Limnadopsis spp., 
are strongly contrasted with the former when the two series are swimming about 
together by the absence of red blood and their general pale colour. 

The staff at Alice Springs was considerably interested in the "barking" spider 
as it was called, though the word booming better expresses the nature of the sound 
which it was supposed to make. The spiAer {Phlosius erassipes) was found without 
any difficulty by the blacks close to the station, where in hard sandy ground it 
makes its burrows. Each of these is about an inch in diameter and goes down in 
a slanting direction for about two feet, when it terminates in a little more or less 
spherical chamber in which are the remains of beetles and a small amount of 
webbing and in which the animal remains during the day time. There b no 
protective covering for the hole on the surface. 

In addition to listening at night close by the burrows in which we knew tlie 
spider was living, and to keeping it alive in captivity in variously shaped 
receptacles some of which were made so as to resemble as nearly as possible the 
sliape of the burrow with its swollen termination, Mr. Besley, a member of the 
station Etas', and myself spent a night out in the bush in a spot where it was 
plentiful, hoping to settle the question. 



We heard the noise attributed to the spider, but came to the coucluaion that 
it was made by n bird — probably a quail. It is a noteworthy fact that the noise 
is principally heard at the time when birds, such as quails, are most abundant. I 
could find no structure which could enable it to make any such noise as is 
attributed to it, but at the same time our observations of the animal in captivity 
led to the discovery that it does possess a well developed stridulating organ. 
When irritated it rises on its hind legs, and rubbing its palps against its maxiile 
produces a low whistlin); sound. The structure of this organ is described and 
figured in the Zoological section of the Report. There is a series of little stiff rods 
on the maxilla which rub across a series of curious little flattened " keys " on the 
palp and so produce the low whistle. The animal is closely allied to a spider from 
Assam, in which Professor Wood Mason many years ago described a very similar 
organ, and since then, in fact since we found ttie organ in Phlogim <rassipis, it Las 
been shown by Messrs. Focock and F. O. P. Cambridge that stridulating organs of 
various kinds are more common than was previously thought. 

All the specimens captured while I was staying at Alice Springs and since 
then have, unfortunately, been females, so that we do not know if the organ exists 
in the male, but from the fact of its occurrence in the former it is perhaps to be 
regarded as an organ for pnxlucing a warning signal to warn off would-lie 
aggressors. At the same time it must be said that this is merely a theory which 
has not been put to the test, as we do not know either who its particular enemies 
are or whether they are capable of hearing the sound made. If they be, as 
probably they are, ground animals such as the smaller marsupials or lizards it 
way, especially in the cose of soft-bodied animals through whose skin its powerful 
jaws can bit«, act as a deterrent. In its burrow we found remnants of beetles 
upon which it had evidently been feeding. During the night, as it is nocturnal, it 
is doubtless active, but during the day time when taken out of its burrow it is 
very sluggish, and can easily be handled. 

What with the days spent either in examining and sketching the animals 
brought in by the blacks, or in collecting out amongst the hills and the evenings 
in developing photographs taken during the day and in long talks and discussions 
on anthropological subjects with Mr. Gillen, some of whose valuable notes relating 
to the customs of the Arunta tribe are published in the Report of the Expedition, 
my time at Alice Springs soon passed away. Mr. Watt had returned from his 
flying visit to the gold and " ruby " fields, and at midnight on 5th August, with 
the temperature below freezing point, we left the station on our southward journey 
along by the overland telegraph line. 



It will be many years before the recollectioa of our slay at Alice Springs fades 
from our nieinory, for it came as a pleasaat ending to an Expedition wliich had 
carried us into parts of the continent remote from the usual beaten tracks. 

Looking back upon our Expedition a few scenes stand out prominently — the 
gibber plains at sunset ; the bare upland stony plain with the thin telegraph line 
streaking away to the horizon, on which' through the heated air waves the outline 
of the Charlotte Waters Station can be seen ; the view of the great Pinke Valley 
where nb Grown Point the river breaks through the Desert Sandstone hills ; 
Chambers Pillar rising solitary amongst the sandhills ; the picturesque water-holes 
of the George Gill Range ; the camp, weird and silent, by Lake Amodeus ; Ayers 
Rock glowing bright red in the sunset ; the group of graceful palm trees by the 
side of the rock-pools in Palm Creek and the wonderful gorges amongst the 
McDonnell Range. 

Six days' incessant travelling — camping out in the open wherever we happened 
to come to some time after dark aad starting away at sunrise — brought us to 
Charlotte Waters. After spending a few hours here with Mr. Byrne we started 
off again, and in three days more reached the head of the railway line at 
Oodnadatta and three days later we were in Adelaide. , 



Zoological, Botanical and Geological 
Results of the Expedition, 

By BALDWIN SPENCER, M.A., C.M.Z.S., Professor oj Biology 
in the University oJ Melbourne. 





By BALDWIN SPENCER, M.A., C.M.Z.S.. Professor oj Biology 
in the Universily of Melbourne. 


Zoology ...-.--, 138 

Botany .-..-..- 169 

Oeologjr and Palsontology ..... i^gj 

QflDeral Conclnaioiu ,--.,, 171 

At the suggestitm of Professor Tute, to whose work I am already much indebted, 
I have added to the narrative tlie following sliort sunimary of the results of the 
Expedition so far as they are concerned with Zoology, Botany and Geology. I 
have not included in the summary the Anthropological work for the simple reason 
that a mere brief outline of the work of Dr. Stirling and Mr. Gillen would have 
been of no value, whereas, in the case of the three sciences mentioned the connec- 
tion between them is so intimate and the bearing, especially of the Geological 
work, upon the important question of the distribution of the fauna and flora is of 
such a nature that it appeared to be of advantage to bring together and briefly 
discuss the main results arrived at in these departments. For the Geological and 
Botanical results I am of course indebted to the paj»ers written by Professor Tate 
and Mr. Watt, singly and in conjunction with each other. Qn one or two points, 
such as for example the previous existence of a "cosmopolitan flora" in Australia, 
I have ventured, when discussing certain general conclusions, to difler from the 
views put forth in the reports. 


In the narrative some of the more interesting points in regard to difi'erent 
forms of animals found have been already alluded to. I shall here endeavour to 
briefly summarise the general results. 



The following table iinlicHles the number of genera and sptcies of atiimiils 
I occurreuce uf whiuli in tlic Ciiutre K reixtrded iu tim Zoolo<;i<;ul section* \ — 



Garni voru 




- 2 



- 3 


Marsupialia - 

- 16 


Moiiotremata - 

- 1 


Aves - 

- 83 




- 22 


Upliidia ' 

- 11 



- 4 


Pisces - 

- 5 



- 20 




- 7 


Lepidopteni - 

- n 


Ool«optera - 

- 125 



- 35 


Orthoptera - 



Hymenoptera - 

- 18 



Oligochaeta - 







The above lisi does not include certain forms collected but of which the 
exauiinsitioD has not been yet completed. Amongst these may be noted the 
Hcmiptera (of which a considerable number were collected), Myriapoda, Scoi-pi- 
onidffi, Pseudo-scorpionidw (two species), Diptcm, Isopoda (one species), Turbellaria 
(one species of water plauarian), Hirudinea (one species), Kotifera (one species of 
Laciimlaria) and Folyzoa (one species). 

id certain MuwipuLia, Lacortlli» tuid HyiueDOpten. recorded in the 



In certain groups, especially in the Coleoptera, numerous species have 
been already described, but excluding the latter the list given indicates within 
narrow limits our present knowledge of the numerical proportions of the Central 
Australian faunix. 

That the numbers will be steadily increased in time is of course certain, 
as many of the rarer forms can only be secured at intervals and under very 
favourable circumstances such ns the successive occurrence of two or more good 

It is highly probable, in fact certain, that the fauna varies to a great extent 
with the climate. Central Australia may be described as possessing a permnnent 
and a fluctuating fauna ; the former, which may be regarded as the nucleus of its 
fauna, consists of species which have become especially adapted to life in an arid 
region ; the latter consists of immigrant species not so hardy and only to lie met 
with when more favourable seasons have rendered their immigration from out- 
lying regions possible. 

Probably the permanent fauna is fairly well represented in the collection 
made and amongst certain groups, such especially as the Land Moilusca, there is no 
fluctuating fauna, but in the case of others, such as the Insectn especially and to a 
lesser extent the Mammalia, the fluctuating fauna, dependent as it is primarily 
upon the vegetation, is an important factor. With a succession of bad seasons 
the vegetation dwindles and the animals, except the most hardy species, disappear, 
and even the latter become very much thinned out. With a recurrence of good 
seasons first of all the surviving inhabitants increase in numbers, and then if the 
good seasons last long enough a gradual immigration takes place. 

The pemmnent fauna again may be divided into two groups, the first contain- 
ing those animals which can always be found during the dry season, the second 
containing those which only appear during the short wet season. 

The collector who sets to work as we did in a dry season, especially if he has 
been accustomed to the moiater coastal district, is first of all struck with the fact 
that there is a wonderful poverty of animal life except so far as regards ants, flies, 
grasshoppers and certain beetles, birds and lizards. He naturally misses almost 
all forms of life associated, as the Phalangeridse for example, with well wooded 
districts, or the Platypus with the sheltered pools of permanent rivers, and he 
rapidly appreciates the influence of a climatic barrier. 

After turning over every available stick and hundreds of stones and finding 
no trace of moisture he realizes how impossible it is for creatures such as land 


142 U£ 

Planariana or Peripfttus or even the wide-spread lanil Amphipod to exist in such ft 

Next he becomes wearied with the uiuuccessful search afu^r insects on flower- 
ing shrubs, though such as Cassina and Bremophilas are abandoDt and attractive 
enough, and day after day ho finds the same forms of life. Every water-hole, every 
loamy plain or sandhill yields a wearying, monotonous and small aeries of animals 
until he begins to realise that the fauna is characterized by the entire absence of 
the rich scries of species of the coastal districte and the presence of a relatively few 
dominant species which are evidently capable of adapting themselves to conditions 
of the most unfavourable description for animal life. 

In the wet season the fauna changes as if by magic, insects formerly unseen 
come about in swarms, fresh water Crustacea crowd the ciny-pans and water-holes, 
caterpillars in thousands creep about, the majority of them simply falling a prey 
to the lizards, frogs and birds which increase with like rapidity. At the same 
time though animal life is now abundant it is composed of relatively few species, 
each existing in enormous numbers. Probably towards the close of the favourable 
season a horde of migratory rats will pass like a wave across the country, disap- 
pearing into the depths of the desert, where they perish. For a time the small 
marsupials will be more or less abundant, but soon they also will disapppai* to 
lestivate during the dry season or only to come out from their hiding places during 
the cool of the night — the majority of them probably perishing before they reach 

Rapidly the country assumes its dry state, and the only animals left are the 
hanlier forms which can withstand tlie heat and dryness, and the few inhabitants 
of the deeper and scattered water-holes. 

If the drought be abnormally prolonged then even the hardiest animals will 
suffer, and the fauna will be so reduced that it may tuke some time before 
increased fertility on the part of the survivors und the influx of immigrants from 
the broad belt of land enclosing the central region will make good the deGciency. 

Probably, what is certainly true of the plants, holds good in the case of 
animals, and that is that tlie straggle for existence is not of such a complicated 
nature as in many other parts. After the rain falls, a caterpillar or insect or frog 
for example has no lock of food — there is plenty for all — though of course they are 
each liable to fall a prey to birds or reptiles or mammals. There does not seem 
indeed to be any attempt mode except perhaps on a most limited scale, at anything 
like protective colouration. Urosshoppcrs and insects crawl about in thousands 



without any fttteinpt at concealment— every animal of evei^ kind seems so to 
speivk to forget nil else except the necessity of feeding na rapidly as possible and 
reproducing its species. 

The first phase in the struggle for existence is concerned with the development 
of the ovum. Unless the development be very rapid the animal has no chance of 
growing to the siko nt which it can take advantage of the rapidly disappearing food 
supply — disappearing not because tliere is not enough and to spare for all but 
because the vegetation on which all depends can only withstand the tempeiature 
for a given length of time. The second phase in the struggle is entered upon 
when the dry season supervenes, and this is really dependent upon the first, for it 
is only those who have grown to a certain size and who in addition have hardy 
enough constitutions who have any chance of lasting out tlie di-ouglit with its 
miserably small supply of food and water. 

One important point in connection at all events with the smaller marsupials 
and probably with alt the animals to a greater or leas extent is, as already noticed 
in the Zoological report,* " that they attain full size at very varying periods of 
life and that an animal reared during a successive scries of bad seasons and 
consequent dearth of f<Mxl may never attain the full size characteristic of the 
species, though at the same tim6> it may bear young ones." This curious fact is 
well seen in the case of PhaicohgaU cHstkauda where the smallest mature male 
measures (head and body) 136 mm. and the largest 220 nim. ; the smallest female 
of the same species measuring 125 mm. and the largest 170 mm., though both of 
the latter were carrying young ones in the pouch. In each cose the larger forms 
were ohtaioed at the close of a good season. In the same species the number of 
teats varies between four and eight, the latter being present ^;ain in those 
captured at the close of a good season. 

These facts will serve to show the direct influence which the climate has upon 
the development of the animals, for no such relatively great variations exist 
amongst allied species found in the coastal districts where the climate is not liable 
to such irregular fluctuations. 

Taking the different groups we may now point out the more important points 
concerned with each. 

Mammalia. — In the Eutheria the most important forms are the large bat 
(Mfgaiierma figts) and the Rodents. The former is only found in the caves 



amongst the ranges and in Central Queensland. Amongst the Rodents eleven 
species so fnr are determined, including the introduced Mus musathis. Only one 
species Coniiurus (Hapalolis) mitchelH is known from West Australia also. Two 
species of Mua (J/, gouldi and M. greyi) are widely distributed save on the west, 
but the characteristic Rodents of the Centre are those belonging to the genus 
Coniiurus (Hapalotis) which includes the jerboa-rats. One of these (C pedunai- 
latus) is known as yet only from the Higher Steppes, the other four are 
characteristic of the eastern and central parts of the interior. 

These rodents have a remarkable habit of travelling periodically in vast 
hordes. In the middle of 1895, for example, Mr. Byrne, writing from Charlotte 
Waters, said, "The jerboa-like rodents are coming from the eastwards and they 
almost amount to a plague here." Two months later scarcely one was to be seen. 
This migration /wot /A* i'rtrf appears to show that the Centre receives periodic 
additions to its fauna dependent primarily upon the seasons, and that in the case 
of the rodents, as their distribution indicates, the immigration takes place from 
the East. 

The most interesting form— evidently rare, as only a single immature specimen 
was secured amongst the Urge num1>er of rodents caught— is a species of Mas- 
tacomys. The interest of this lies in the fact that the genus is represented by a 
single species living in Tasmania and by a fossil form from the Wellington Caves 
in New South Wales. In the Centre it has only been found at Alice Springs 
amongst the ranges. Evidently it represents an old form of Rodent and is one of 
the very few animals which Tasmania and the Centre have in common In this 
respect it stands in strong contrast to the characteristic rodents of the genus 
Coniiurus, which is not represented in Tasmania and may, like the DJprotodonts, 
be regarded as having originated on the eastern side of the continent, whence tliey 
have spread out westwards. 

The marsupials are represented by twenty-three species, which may be 
divided into three groups : — 

1. A few species widely distributed over the continent. Tliese include 
TrUhosurus vulpeeuht, Sminlhcpsis murinti, S. erassicaudata, Perameks obesula. 

2. A larger number which ore characteristic of the inland parts of the eastern 
divisions (Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria) and of South and West 
Australia. These include Afacrnpus rohuslus, Maeropus rufiis, PetrogaU lateralis, 
Onychogitle lunnla, Lag^orchesles conspkihitui var. leichardtii, Bttlongta lesueuri. 



Ckaropus easlanolis, Phascologale calura, Dasyurus geoffreyt, PHascologafe cris/i- 
Cauda, Anlecfiimmys ianigtr, Myrmecobius fasdatus. 

3. Thoee which as far as yet known are peculiar to the oentral region. 
These include Peragak minor,* Perameles eremiana, SminlhopHs psammophilus, 
S. larapinta, Phascologale macdonnellensis, Dasyuroldes bymei, Notoryetes typhlops. 

The species included under the second head may again be divided into two 
aeries : {a) those widely distributed over the interior from east to west {Af. rufus, 
M. robustus, P. lagofis (I), O. iunata, C- casfanotis, Phascologale crislicanda {I), P. 
calura, Antechinomys laniger (1), D. geoffroyi); (^) those restricted to the west 
side ( Petrogak lateralis, L. conspicillalus, Bet/ongia lesueuri). 

In addition to these positive features there are equally striking negative 
features in the absence of many representative genera of other parts— an absence 
often, but by no means always, associated with the lock of arboreal vegetation. 
Such genera are, for example, Dendrolagns, .^pypryramus, Potorous, Dromicia, 
Fetaurus, Fseudochirus, Priascolarctos, Fhascolomya Perhaps so far as specific 
attinity is concerned, in the case of the marsupials just as in that of the rodents, 
the most striking fact is the presence of only one species common to the Centre 
and Tasmania and that is the ubiquitous Perameles obesula. 

The most distinctive marsupial of the Central region is without doubt 
Notoryetes typklops and it must be confessed that the modification of this curious 
creature to adapt it to a burrowing life in hot, sandy country — if this modification 
be regarded as having taken place within the time during which the Centre hna 
undergone desiccation — is a most remarkable one, all the more so because it is a 
modification without parallel in any other marsupial of the district. It seems 
indeed preferable to suppose that Notoryetes is the modified survivor of some 
perhaps extinct burrowing marsupial similar in its habits to the true mole. On 
the other hand it is quite likely that there may yet be found in some of the lai^ 
incompletely explored parts of the continent one or more allied existing forms 
whose burrowing habits have hitherto caused them to escape detection. 

Next to Notoryetes the most characteristic marsupials are the species of the 
genus Feragale ; all three of these, viz., P. lagotis, P. leucura, P. minor, are found 
in the Centre to which probably the latter two are confined, while the first is also 
a Western and South Australian form. 

• [■TolMbljr «]ia Peragaie Inmra. 



If we divide Australia into two partB, one inclnding the ooaatal districte on 
the north, east and Muth-eaat and the other inclnding the rest of the continent, 
then we can rej^rd the MarsopUl fanna of the Centre as an assemblage of species 
belonging to those characteristic of the second region which have become adapted 
to life in the more arid parts. 

Of the two families of the Monotremata only one— the Echidnidm— is repre- 
sented. The species is the common continental one. Echidna amleata var. tyfua, 
the range of which, as in the Centre it is found from Barrow Springs in the 
north to Cliarlotte Waters in the sooth, is now shown to extend over the whole 

^Wf.— The birds represent 100 species, erf which five are new. In addition 
to these the most interesting and importont specimens are those of Spathi>ptem 
ahxandra^ the Princess of Wales Parnikeet. This fe closely allied to the genus 
Polytolia, in which the species had previously been placed. Mr, North has placed 
it in a separate genus characterited by the fcict that in the adnlt male the third 
primary fnather b moch elongated and terminates in a spatale. 

With regard to the distribntion of the species obtained Mr. North says : " The 
majority of the birds collecte<) range over the southern half of the Austmlinn 
oiintinont from east to west, hot there is a slight prepondemjice of western forms. 
Hevnml north-western species are now recorded for the first time from Central 
Auitmlia ; but it ia worthy of note that no strictly northern species is represented 
In tho ool lection." 

/Meerli/ia.—The collection of Lacertilia is perhaps the most representative of 
llm series u it was supplemented by important additions secured during the wet 
■eiwon, when not only are Gome of the rarer forms more plentiful, but others not 
wton at all during the dry season can be obtained. As Messrs. Lucas and FWist 
|N)iiit out* It contains four groups :— 

I. A wriM of widespread species. These inclade Z>e/ma Jraseri, lialu 
filtfrnt, Am/>MMkn,s harfnitms, V^ntnMs gmldii, Egemia mhitii, HtnuKa Usueurii 

a. A loriei el western apeeioe. Itiese include Amphibolurus maatlatus, A. 
/^Arir,,/^,, A. rvAV*/«A«. AMo^A korridMs, Tympan^cryfiHs ^fihalus, Egemia stolust, 
hMma j;rrr.,n/i,\ ^. fii/,s. AN.fh.,fMS grryi, while Amphibolur^^ fiUtus, TSiiiua 

■ lODlncinl Rciat, Put n., |l 111. 



occipitalis and T^mpanocryptis Hneata extend across the south of the continent from 
West Australia to the interior of Victoria. 

3. A series of northern forms. These include Heteronota bynoet, Nephrurus 
asper, Jf, laevis, Dip/odactyius ciliarii, Physignathtis longiroslris, Varanu! gigan/eus, 
V. pitnctatus, V. acantkurus, HtnuUa fasdolala. 

4. A series peculiar so far as yet known to the Central district. These 
include Ebennvia homi, Ceratnodaclylus damans, Dipkdactylus bymei, Tympnno- 
cryptis telraporophora. Diporophora winneckei, Varanus eremius, V. gillrni, Rhodona 
Utradactyla, Ophidiocephaius iceniatus. 

The afBnities with the western species Are the most marked. Out of thirt^y- 
eight species no fewer than twenty-two are found in Western Australia. 

The next greatest amount of affinity lies with the Northern Territory and 
North Queensland, which liave between them fourteen in common with the Centre. 
Victoria and New South Wales only share with the Centre some five ubiquitous 
species, while with Tasmania there are not more than two species in common. 

In the case of the Lacertilia we see again, as in the Marsupials, a marked 
line of distinction between the interior and the south-eastern coastal fauna, a still 
more strongly marked affinity between the Centre and the west, and unlike the 
Marsupials, a strong affinity with the north. 

One result of the lai^e series of forms secured has been the discovery of a very 
large amount of variation in forms closely allied but hitherto considered to be 
distinct from one another, and in consequence of this the merging of certain 
species. Thus, for example, Nephrurus l<evis and N. platyurus are merged in the 
former species ; the opinion of Dr. Gunther that Heteronota deriiana and H. bynoei 
are variations of the one species is confirmed ; lympanocryptis letraporopkora 
serves to connect T. lineata and T. cephalus, while the large series of H. lesueurii 
cause Messrs. Lucas and Frost to say,* " Thus we shall be prepared to include as 
varieties of the last named H. spatdingi, Macteay {= ff. dorsa/is, BIgr.), H. lete, 
Blgr., If. strauehii, Blgr., H. inomala. Gray, If. essingtonii, Gray, If. mutlkri, 
Fischer, and H. taniolata, White." 

Amongst the vcrtebrata the lizards, as might have been expected from the 
nature of the country, form the most striking part of the fauna, and probably 
there yet remain a considerable number of species to be obtained, but these lie 
amongst the rarer and less widely dispersed fonns. 

»iK. «i..p.m ,jo^ 


148 ao 

WhUst some are widely distributed over the whole region amongst the loamy 
and sandy flats of the Lower Steppes and on tlie brood valley and even hillsides 
of the Higher Steppes others are more or less characteristic of one or other of 
these districts, and others again are still more local and appear to live in small 
colonies occupying a very restricted area. 

The moat widely diffused forms are Gekyra variegata which is always to be 
met with under logs and the bark of trees, Amphibolurus rtliculalus burrowing 
everywhere on sandy and loamy ground and perhaps the moat abundant of all 
forms -, Atnphibolums barbatus, even more widely spread than the former but not 
nearly so numerous ; Moloch horridus and the ubiquitous Egernia whitii and 
HinuHa kiueurii, while Egernia stokesi is found on the hard loamy plains of the 
Higher and Lower Steppes but not in soft sandy country or upon the ranges. 

Certain species, on the other hand, though they extend to a certain extent on 
to the Lower Steppes are characteristic of the Higher Steppes ; such tor example 
are Nephrurus asper, Varanus giganteus — the largest of Australian lizards, which 
lives in caves and holes amongst the higher ranges — Vtiranus punclalus and 
V. aeantkurus and amongst the smaller forms the four epociea of Ablepharus. 

The Lower Steppes are characterised by the following series, some of which 
again spread to a certain extent on to the Higher Steppes. Amongst the common 
forms are AmphiMurui pictui, which though it extends fai-ther north is peculiarly 
diaracteristic of the southern part, and Tiliqua occipitalis. 

Amphibolurus maculatus, the moat brilliant in colouration of all the lizards, is 
very restricted in distribution, occurring in <m.& or two colonies along the Finke 
and the same applies to Varanus eremius, a ground form. 

Rhyneadura omata ia known in the Centre only from the neghbourhood of 
Charlotte Waters, from which also come the two most interesting species secured 
during the Expedition, viz., Ebenavia horni and Ceramodaciylus damaus.* The 
former b the representative of a genus containing only one other upecies in 
Madagascar — a distribution which calls to mind that of the genus Casuarina 
amongst plants. 

Ebeuavia is disdoguished from other genera of the Qeckonidie such as 
Diplodactylus by the absence of claws and is moat closely allied to Fhyllodactylus, 
a genus not represented in the Centre but with three species in West Australia, 

* C^ramadaclrliu Aamaiu has ainoc b««n recorded b>- Mesa*. Luciu and Frost u occuninE In Northern 



one of which (P. marmoratus) extends into South Australia and the interior of 
VictoriH. Probably the distribution of Ebenavia will be found to extend into 
West Australia. 

Equally curious is the dietribution of Ceramodactylus, which is only recorded 
hitherto from Persia and Arabia. In the Centre it is found only along the Finke 
near Charlotte Waters. 

The Ophidia are too imperfectly known to make it safe to dmw any conclusion 
from the small series obtained. It is quite possible that the number of species in 
the Centre is very few, bat future work will probably considerably increase the 
number yet known. Out of the twelve species secured one (Hornea pitkheUa), the 
representative of a new genus, is known only from Charlotte Waters; Furtna 
ramsayi is the commoueat form in the southern part extending across to West 
Australia and lo the interior of New South Wales, whilst a new species, Hopio- 
cephalus uirlingi, is widely distributed from Alice Springs in the north to 
Oodnodatta in the south. 

Amphibia. — ^The Amphibia are remarkable, as might perhaps have been 
expected in such a region, by (1) the paucity of species and (2) the great numbers 
in which at certain seasons the individuals of the species represented are found. 
At the present time some sixty-five species are known in Australia. Only six are 
recorded from Central Australia. 

In contrast to the Marsupials and Lacertilia there is very little affinity 
between the Amphibian fauna of West and Central Australia; the only common 
species is Hyla ru6eiia, which is also found in New South Wales, Queensland and 
the Northern Territory. 

The characteristic Amphibia of the Central region consist of five species 
{Limtiodynastes ornatus, Chiroleptes piatyaphaius, C. l>revipalmatus, Heleioporus 
pittus, Hyla rubella), four of which may be described as burrowing frogs and they 
are also inhabitants of the interior of the oast and south-east parts of the continent. 
They may either represent the direct descendants of fonua which inhabited the 
region during most favourable climatic conditions — a supposition which is probably 
true in regard to Hyla rubetia — or they may l)e species which have immigrated 
from outlying eastern and south eastern parts in comparatively recent times, which 
is probably true in the case of L. ornatus, Chiroleptes plafycephaius, C palmatus 
and Heleioporus pidus, which are elsewhere burrowing frogs and so are capable of 
migrating across country dry for the greater part of the time. The last-named 



Specks exUMids from the Victoriao coast (Melbourne) through South AustrtUia and 
into the Centre. 

Out of the six species three are characteristic of the Lower Steppes — Chiro- 
Uptes platyctphalut, C. brevipalmatus, HtUiopoms pktus — and were not met with 
amongst the ranges of the Higher Step[»es. They seem to prefer the hard, sandy 
and loam plains where the water-holes are periodically dried up and where it is 
absolutely essential for them to burrow, their power of storing water in their 
bodies being of considerable service to them Limnodynasiet ornattts follows the 
sandy river heds where it can burrow down to moisture throughout the Lower and 
the Higher Steppes as well. Hyla giileni is restricted to the north and is of very 
rare occurrence and probably an immigrant from the north, while the home of the 
little Hyla rubella b undoubtedly amongst the water-pools in tlie ranges, whence 
in flood time it is periodically washed down to supply the wutor-holes on the Lower 
Steppes, the wells sunk at intervals along the overland track enabling it to survive 
where otherwise it would perish. 

Pisces. — Pisces are ropreaented in the collection by eight species belonging to 
six genera. Out of the eight species six are new, viz., Nematocerttris tatei, Netnato- 
ctnlris winnukei, Eleotris larapinlcB, Gobius eremius, Chaloissus horni, Plotosus 
argenleus \ oE the remaining two Tkerapon truttaceus, Mocleay, is known from the 
£ndeavour River, and Tkerapon percoides, Gunth, from Queensland rivers. One 
of the most striking features amongst the fish is the absence of afiGnity with 
those of the Murray River system. The genera Oligorus, Otenolates, Murrayio, 
Gadopsia and Copidoglanis of the Murray are entiroly wanting. The genera 
ropresented aro those of coastal districts and may perhaps be best regarded as 
having been derived from the north. 

To the eight species must be added another, viz., Tkerapon fasaaius, recorded 
from " near the McDonnells " by Mr. A. H. S. Lucas, which is of interest as being 
a West Australian species. 

Mollusea. — The Mollusca is in many respects the most interesting of the 
orders represented as it contains considerably the greatest proportion of endemic 
species. The number of land molluscs known to inhabit tiie region has been 
increased from three previously recorded to twenty-five, of which, according to 
Professor Tnte,'*' four only extend beyond the area and five are close alUes of 

• Eoologlca] Report. Part II., p. ISa. 



Species found outside t)ie area. The fresb water tnolluscan fauna has been 
increasett from one to thirteen species. 

Speaking of the land inolluaca Professor Tate says, "The facies of the fauna 
approximates mora to that of Bub-tropical and temj>erate Wost Australia than of 
any other part of the continent, and is in strong contrast with the highly 
differentiated fauna of tropical and sub-tropical Queensland, situated to the east of 
the Cordilleras, to which it is geographically equally near. The limited number of 
genera represented, t4^ethor with the facts of their geographic distribution, would 
seem to indicato a primitive population, which has been maintained in an isolated 
condition by climatic and geoli^c changes." 

Of the species described Thersitti fodtnalis is recorded from West Australia 
and the intorior of New South Wales, T. perinfiala from West and South 
Australia, Mkropkyura htmidausa from North Queensland and the Northern 
Territory, Pupa contraria from West Australia, Sucdnea interioHs from the 
interior of Queensland. 

Taken as a whole the distribution accords well with that of other groups such 
as the Marsupials ; the main affinity lies with West Australia, whilst T. fodinalis, 
T. perinfiala, and S. interiorii, show affinity with the intorior part of the continent 
lying to the east. There is the same striking contrast between the molluscan 
fauna of the Centre and that of Northern and Tropical Queensland on the one 
hand and the south-eastern coastal districts, including Tasmania, on the other, 
which in reality is the leading feature of the whole central fauna. 

At the present time there can be no passage of land Molluscs either into or 
out of the Central region, which has been in this respect isolated since Pliocene 
times. To account for the relationships of the land Mollusca we must postulate 
what there is abundant evidence of — a moro favourable climate in Pliocene and 
earlier times allowing of migration from the west, north and to a lesser extent the 
east, both into and out of the Central area. 

Whilst the Rolling Downs formation (Upper Cretaceous) was being deposited 
the Central highlands formed a large island mass. Professor Tate says : "At this 
period a more or less cosmopolitan fauna and flora prevailed, and it was doubtlessly 
then that the Larapintine area acquired its species of Micropbyura, Charopa and 
Flammulina and those species of a more or less maritime habitat belonging to 
Liparus, Steuogyra, Pupa and Succinea. How else is it possible to account 
for the presence of about eight species of land snails in the very centre of the 
continent absolutely isolated from allied or identical species which are to-day cir- 



cumferentiol in th«ir oocurrencest The inanlarity of its geogmpliic positiou was 
partially maintained during the deposition of the Desei-t Sandstone (Upper 
Cretaceous*) — a freah water area, or largely bo, replacing the oiaritime one. 
Favourable conditions then ensued in Pliocene times which permitted migration 
over the largely reclaimed lacustrine areas. It was then that Badistes perinfiata 
adA £. /odinalis spread south and south-west j so also the AogaselUe but under 
, new modifications ; whilst there may have been received a few northern types, out 
of which have been evolved Badistes granditubtrculata, B. wallii, Chlorith sqvamu- 
hsa, TkersiUs sublevata and T. adcocktana. The final climatic phase was the 
creation of the Dry Zone, which effectually cuts off migration in a southerly 

It may perhaps be pointed out that these suggestions with regard to the times 
at which the MolluBcati fauna was established in the Centre are not altogether 
satisfautory. Thus Professor Tate in the pan^raph previoas to the one quoted 
says " the Gndodontie and Flammulina belong to genera largely Tasmonian." 
Hb suggestion that the species of Microphyura, Charopa (Endodonta) and 
Flammulina were acquired when the Larapintine Region formed an insular mass 
is somewhat difficult to understand, as if the Centre were in this insular state then 
it could have but little chance of giving or recdving Mollusca to or from any other 
part and especially in the south- easterly direction, such as any Tasmanian affinity 
would imply. 

It seems scarcely oecessary to go back so far to find a time at which the 
special forms mentioned by Professor Tate passed across into or out of the Centre. 
There can be no doubt, as Professor Tate and others have repeatedly pointed out, 
that in or about Pliocene time the climatic conditions of the Centre were favourable 
to animal life. If as Professor Tate suggests it was then that Badistes perinfiala 
and B. Jodtnalis spread south and south-west and that " there may have been 
received a few northern types, out of which have been evolved Badistes grandi 
luieratiala, etc.," why will uot the same favourable time suffice for the migration 
of such forms as Microphyura kemidausa, which is specifically identical with the 
Queensland and Northern Territory form t 

What it wonld appear, judging not only from the Molluscan but from the 
Marsupial and Locertilian fauna, to be neceesary to poBtuIate, is Uiat the centre 
has been connected, in such a way that emigration of animal life was fairly easy 
across the intervening country, with (1) the north and north-cAst, and (2) with the 

• Tbki tg refcmd to M Supn Cntooooua In Uh Ogolagy Baport ud ttu RoUliig Downi u Uppu CraUoWW. 



west, and that further the latter connection b&s been more marked than the 
former, and bo has exerted a stronger influence. This might be brought about by 
the western connection persisting for a somewhiit longer time than that on the 
north and east ; possibly the western coanecUon was established beFore the eastern, 
and existed also during the time of the latter. 

Mr. Hedley who, in the Appendix to the Mollusca Report, has dealt with the 
twatomical features of a certain number, has kindly allowed uie to reproduce from 
his correspondence with me on the subject the following interesting and suggestive 
extracts. Ur. Hedley says : " The Mollusca point clearly to an original population 
derived from Western Australia, composed of Xanthomelon,* Lipanis, Pupa, 
Succiueo. Then an immigration primarily from the noi'them territory, but 
remotely from Queensland, is shown by Thersitea, Microphyura, Stenogyra, 
Bithinia, Melaoia and Corbiculo. This migration from Queensland probably 
occurred when the Queensland fauna was far poorer than it is now, and as Micro- 
phyura and Thersites travelled from Queensland, the west sent in exchange the 
few Xanthomelon which have reached the Pacific coast, and which are still 
confined to the north. After this, communication with Queensland ceased, so that 
the rich fauna which lately poured across Torres Straits from New Guinea failed 
to reach even in one instance to Fort Darwin, 

" Another striking lesson to be learnt from an analysis of the fauna is the 
impenetrable barrier which shut out Tasmaniau types. Not a single member of 
ttkat numerous, active, most enduring group the Rhytididie has reached this region. 
Originating in Antarctia, one colony occupied New Zealand and spread thence 
through New Caledonia to the Solomons. Another established itself in Tasmania 
and marched in force to Cape York and even crossed to Mount Owen Stanley in 
New Guinea. Yet the enormous lapse of time and change of land and water 
requisite for these wanderings was not sufficient to allow Rhytididte to pass into 
the I^rapintine Region." 

Amongst the land mollusca a very clear distinction occurs between the Lower 
and the Higher Steppes ; out of twenty-five found in the latter only three extend 
southwards into the former ; these are (I) Thersites ptrinflata a widely distributed 
species ranging over the interior from the Burt Plain in the north to the Flinders 
Range in the south, and westwards to the Fraser Range and Yilgarn in Western 
Australia, and (3) Pupa contraria which just passes into the northern part of the 

• It will )H Hen liODi ths Appendix I 
by Mr. Bodloy on uutomlail grounda to 
Angualli, ChlnlUa ud TbenltM 



Lower Steppes and is also recorded (its onginal locality) from the Houtman's 
Abroblos otF the coast of Western Australia, and (3) Thersiles fodtnalh the most 
abundant land shell. 

Wliilst sucli species as Mkropkyura heimelausa, Angasella seligtra, ThersUes 
atko€kiana, Stenogyra inierwris. Pupa ntooreana and Sucdma tnferioris are 
distributed largely amongst the ranges of the Higher Steppes, othei'S such as 
Etttiodonla csmula, E. planorbuUna, Flammulina retinodes, Angasella eusyga, 
A. winneckeaiia, A. anigerens, Chlorttis squamulosa, Thersites grandiluberculata, 
Thersiles wattii, Llpants spenceri and Pupa ficulnea are very sporadic in occurrence, 
most of them being so far as yet known limited to one single locality and often 
occurring in small colonies in a space not more than a few yards square. 

As Professor Tate says, " like the truly endemic plants, the land snails live on . 
till! southern escarpments of the elevated land or in the deeply-shadowed gor|^ of 
the same and occur in very restricted areas, sometimes as one colony only, or if in 
moi-e, then usually widely separated from one another." 

With regard to the water-moUusca, Melania venustula, BilMnia australis, 
Bulinus pectorosus, Corbicula subl<evigala, and Unio stuarti are only recorded 
from the Lower Steppes ; Melania batonntnsis, Bulinus texturalus and Isidorella 
neivcombi occur in both the Lower and the Higher St«ppes, while Limn^a vinosa, 
Bulinus dispar, Ptanorbis fragilis, Ancylus auslrallcus and Sp/uerium translucidum 
are recorded only from the Higher Steppes, 

Crusiaaa. — In the Orustacea the Fhyllopoda are represented by nine species 
belonging to five genera, the Macroura and the Brachyura by one species each. 

Up till the time of the Expedition no species of Apus was dcfioitoly recorded 
from Australia though its existence has been mentioned by Messrs. Sanger and 
Dnnckroft, but as no description was given it was impossible to determine whether 
this species belonged to the genus Apus or its close ally Lepidurus, which has long 
been known from the continent and from Tasmania and New Zealand. 

The species Apus australiensis was first secured near Charlotte Waters in the 
Centre, and its distribution is now known to extend over the intorior of the 
colonies of New South Wales and Queensland and into West Australia. Just as 
Apus is characteristic of the interior and west, so Lepidurus, which is not found 
there, is characteristic of the eastern coast and of Tasmania and New Zealand. 
The New Zealand, New South Wales, Victorian, Tasmanian and (with perhaps 



soioe doubt in the case of Lepidurus angasi) thu South Austruliiui Lcpidurus ure 
referable to one species, Z. kiitgit.* 

Amongst the Limiiodi^ee the genus Estheria is represented by three species 
of which one, E. packardi, with its three vHrieties typica, canallaia and minor, is 
by far the most abundant and is widely spread over the IiOwer nnd the Higher 
Steppes, occurring in every water-hole except the cold, deep and clear pools 
amongst the ranges. The various species of Limnodiudie all seem to require 
muddy water for their existence and long after the others have died out (except 
perhaps an occasional £. iutraria) and are represented by empty carapaces, E. 
packardi in one or other of its varieties will be found surviving. Eslkeria Iutraria, 
described originally by Bmdy from a single dried carapace secured by Professor 
Tate from Cooper's Creek, is confined to the water-holus of the Ijower Steppes, 
whilst Estheria dictyon was only secured along the Palm Creek in the James 
Range, t 

Limnadopsia is a new genus "distinguished from Estheria by the presence of 
a haft-ot^an; from Limoadia and Eulimnadia by the spinous processes on the 
dorsal edge of the carapace, by the different number of lines of growth and of 
pairs of feet; from Limoadella by the difference in size of the two pairs of 
antenna!."} The larger species of this genus (Z. squirei) measures fully three- 
quarters of an inch in length and is probably the largest of the living Estheriaua;. 

Amongst the Crustacea the genus forms the most distinctive type in the 
Central region, though it is also represented in the Northern Territory by a species 
(L. brunneus) of which carapaces were collected by Professor Tate near Port 

In the Macroura the single species Aitacopsis bicarinalus is widely distributed 
over Australia. It apparently owes its wide distribution to its capacity for 

In the Brachyura the occurrence of Telphusa Iransversa is a striking feature 
It only occurs in the water-holes amongst the Lower Steppes and was not met 
with in the Higher Steppes or anywhere along the Finke River. There can be no 
doubt as to its identity with the form described by Professor Haswell from 
Thursday Island. In all likelihood it will yet be found in the interior of 

varioui localities. 

le South AurtrallwiUuscuin.UbeUMl only "3. Auatiiilio." 



Queensland, and it iaa.y perhaps be best regarded as one of those forms such as 
the burrowing frogs wliich hiive been able to make tlieir way into the Centre 
owing to their capability of burrowing and eo of Burviving during periods of 

Zefiido/tera. — The collection of Lepidoptera was of necessity a small one, as 
it was made during tlie winter months when only a few were to be obtained. Save 
during the early part of the Expedition no insects were even attracted to the light 
at night time und the collection of Lepidoptera except in the cose of a very few 
forms was praciiodly impossible. The most plentiful forms which were widely 
spread over the district were the introduced Danais pttilia and the ubiquitous 
Pyrameis cardui (var. kershawi). 

Coleopura- — In the Colcoptera (exclusive of the Carabidse) the same difficulty 
was experienced as in the case of Lepidoptera— the time of year was unfavourable. 
The eight hundred specimens secured represent one hundred and forty-five species, 
of which sixty-two are new, and of these four are referred by Mr. Blackburn to 
new genera. In the Carabida thirty-two species were collected, of which four 
are new. 

A coneiderable number of species of Coleoptera have already been recorded 
from Central Australia, and I am indebted to the Kev. T. Blackburn for the 
following genenU note upon the Coleopteran fauna of Central Australia : — 

" It is very doubtful whether the facts hitherto ascertained in respect of the 
Coleoptera of Central Australia are sufficiently numerous to warrant any general 
conclusions founded upon them. Most persons (myself included) who have visited 
what is commonly called the "stony desert" to investigate the subject have found 
the Coleoptera very rare but have been informed by residents that at some season 
of the year (other than the then present season) they are very plentiful. A 
request, however, to procure and forward a large batch, at the time of plenty, 
leads to small results (in several Instances I am satisfied that this has not arisen 
from unwillingness to take the requisite trouble). But the conclusion it would be 
natural to draw from such experiences is probably incorrect, for on the occasion 
most favorable to the resolution of the matter (viz., the residence for about six 
months at one locality in Central Australia of Mr. A. Zietz, a scientific collector, 
though not especially a Coleoptorist, nor able to devote much time to the 
Coleoptera) the local tradition was verified by the observation of Mr. Zietz that on 
certain occasions, usually I understand the brewing of a thunderstorm, Coleoptera 



were abundant, although at ordinar; times there feere very few to be met with. 
Mr, Zietz sent to Adelaide very large numbers of spocimens, and, I think, more 
numerous species than have been taken by any other collector in Central 

Probably, whenever certain conditions are fulfilled, specimens usually in 
hiding come forth and are seen in plenty, and probably the conditions necessary 
are conditions unfavourable to casual collectors being on the alert, so that many 
such persons have been once or twice accidentally in contact with such plenty, but 
might never be again. 

Having thus qualified the value of opinions relating to the Coleoptera of 
Central Australia, I may, with less fear of misleading, venture to report on some 
of the general characteristics of that group of insects so far ns tbey are nt present 
known. The prevalent type is certainly, I think, South Australian, but with a 
tendency to extreme specialisation, and with a certain admixture of tropical forms. 
As might be expect«d from the scarcity of v^etation, ground beetles are much 
more numerous than Phytophagous species, but in group after group of both 
classes the species are very distinct from those found in other parts of Australia, 
not so much in general appearance as by structural peculiarity and the nuniber of 
isolated genera is comporatively large. Considering the dryness of the country it 
is surprising to find that the Hydrophilida are comparatively numerous. Carabida, 
Tenebrionida (especially Htlaides) and Cvrculionida (especially Amyclerides) are 
the prominent groups of the Coleopterous fauna ; and there are a somewhat large 
number, usually highly specialised, of Lamel/icoma. Large size and bright 
colouring are rare among the Coleoptera of Central Australia. I have observed a 
prevalence distinctly greater than in other Australian fauna to extremely pallid 
colouring. The few Buprtsltdes, even, that have been found in Central Australia 
are (with scarcely an exception) among the less attractively coloured species of 
their genera." 

Araneida. — In the AraneidEe the 150 specimens collected are referable to fifty- 
seven species belonging to thirty-six genera. Eighteen species are described as new, 
one being the representative of a new genus. Out of the series at present known 
from Central Australia, thirty-one are recorded from the eastern colonies, the great 
majority of which are known from Queensland and New South Wales, two (Epeira 
txluberata and Migas paradox are known from New Zealand only, one {Idioclis 
, helm) is recorded only from Fiji, one only (Habronesles scintillans) is common with 
West Australia, whilst Latrodcctes scelio extends from the centre through Queens- 



land, New South Wales ant] Victoria, attd to the north Island of New Zealand. 
It is not at present possible to draw any conclusions with rejjard to the distribu- 
tion ot spiders in Australia as the great majority of those hitherto described have 
been collected in Queensland and New South Wales, the western and southern part 
of tlie continent having been but little explored so far as this group is concerned. 

The most interesting forms are the new species, Nephila eremiatta, the large 
orb weba of which, extending across as much as ten or twelve fpet from tree to 
tree, form a prominent feature in the more open scrub, and the Queensland 
Ph/ogius crassipes, the largest of the Australian tunnel -forming spiders, which is 
interesting as possessing a well-developed stridulating organ. 

Hymenoptera. — In the Hymenoptora, of which only thirty^>ne speciis are 
described, the most interesting forms are (1) the little black, yellow-footed ant 
forming its nest out of sand particles fastened together with the resinous secretion 
of the porcupine grass, and (2) three species of " honey-ants." The porcupine- 
grass ant has been described by Mr. W. F. Kirby as a new species under the 
name of HypocHnea flavipes, and judging by the way in which the curious and 
characteristic so-called " galleries " which are always made by it in the country 
traversed by us, have been described from various parts of the interior, the 
species is probably widely spread over and at the same time peculiar to the 
interior of the continent. Its distribution may very likely be coterminous with 
that of the resin-producing species of Triodia. 

In the " honey ants" Mr. Froggatt describes three species, two of which are 
new, Camponolus inflatus, Lubbock, is evidently widely spread over Central and 
West Australia, whilst as yet C. etnviei, Froggatt, and C. midas, Froggatt, are only 
known from restricted areas amongst the central ranges. 

Oligoc/iala.~Ot earthworms only a single species is known, which is referable 
to the genus Acanthodrilus. As already described,* the sporadic distribution of 
the sprcics in the centre together with tho absence ot genera at present 
characteristic of the more coastal parts of the continent point to the fact that 
the genus Acanthodrilus was more widely spread over the north-eastern part of 
the continent in former times, when there was no such climatic barrier as now 
exists separating the centre from outlying parU, than it is at the pre.sent day. 
In all probability the species uf Microphyura and Acanthodrilns passed across to 
the Centre from the north at the same time, and with the change in climate which 
succeeded Pliocene times have been isolated. 

■ ZiKAo^ai Beports, Put II., p. 416. 




Th« list of plants recorded liy Professor Tate numhers 014. Prior to the 
Expedition the number described from the region was 502. The lujditioiis consist 
of 8 new species, 16 species new for South Australin and 112 species new to tlie 

In his paper* " On the Influence of Physit^raphic Changes in the Distribution 
of Life in Australia " Professor Tate suggested, nmtnly on botanical grounds, the 
division of Australia into three regions — (1) Autochthonian, (2) Euronotian and 
(3) Eremian. The latter region occupies the central area of the continent and is 
coterminous with that over which the annual rainfall is under 10 inches ; 
westward it extends to the coast line of mid West Australia. For the central 
region occupied by the table-land uf Ordovician sandstone from which rise the long 
parallel ridges forming the McDonnells and the James Range the name Larnpintinc 
is used — adapting the native nairie of the Finite River the basin of which lies 
mainly within tbe area. To the south lies what Professor Tate calls the Central 
Eremian district, stretching south from about the latitude of Engoordina (Horse- 
shoe Bend) OD the Finke and formed by the Cretaceous table-land. 

The latter area is practically tbe same as that referred to in the narrative as 
the Lower Steppes, the Laraplntine region being comprised within the Higher 

In regard to the Larapintine Flora Professor Tate concludes that after the 
deposition of tbe Rolling Downs Formation, which isolated except perhaps in a 
northern direction the Larapintine table-land (or the Higher Steppes), a lacustrine 
area was formed during the period of deposition of the Desert Sandstone, and that 
a cosmopolitan flora prevailed at this period which continued into Palcocene 
times. Pluvial conditions continued into Pliocene times, whilst in Post Pliocene 
times a high state of desiccation was reached. Under these changed conditions 
the original " cosmopolitan " flora became largely extinct and on immigration of 
Oriental forms supervened. The present flora of the Eremian region has )>een 
"developed from Autochthonian and Euronotian elements and lai^ly modified by 
Oriental immigrants and the species evolved from them." 

The Larapintine flora is described by Professor Tate as follows : — 
I. — Exotic Species, chiefly Oriental ... ... 125 

11. — Endemic species of Exotic genera ... ... 219 

III. — Endemic species of Australian genera ... 270 

■ Auat Am. Adv. Sci„ vol. L, pp. %\%-^ni, ISSB. 



The first two groups, together with 52 in the third, comprise plants belonging 
on the whole to the Eremian type, while the remaining 218 species of the third 
group " are either actually Autochthonian or Euronotian or are related species, and 
AS a whole may be viewed either as residues of a common Australian flora or as 
modified descendants therefrom." 

Professor Tate accepts the views of Baron von Ettingshausen with regard to 
a cosmopolitan flom. " which originated in Late Cretaceous times in Europe, North 
America and Australia." 

In his recent presidential address to the Linnean Society of New Sooth 
Wales Mr. Deane has drawn attention to the grave doubts which exist as to the 
validity of the conclusion drawn by Baron von Ettingshausen and others, and it is 
more than probable that this supposed "cosmopolitan flora" with fossil remains of 
genera snch as Quercus, AJnus, Botulo, Salix, etc., in Australia will have to Ite 

The plants of the Lampintine region, so far as their habitat is concerned, are 
divided by Professor Tate into two groups : (1) the Lowland vegetation and (2) 
the Saxatiie vegetation. 

The Lowland vegetation comprises that of the river banks, loamy plains and 
sandy ground. Its species are widely diffused through the Eremian region, 
spreading far south in South Australia, over the internal parts of New South 
Wales and Southern Queensland and westwards to the coast lino of mid-West 
Australia. Thus the Lowland vegetation of the Centre has no less than sixty per 
cent, of its species common to the flora of both Shark's Bay and Kichol Bay on the 
West Australian Coast. Its species "are either immigrants from the Oriental 
Botanical province or are endemic species of extra- Australasian genera." 

In both the Lowland and Saxatiie plants the truly Australian forms are as a 
general rule characterized by their sporadic distribution. They are "frequently 

« Froo. Unn. Boo, N,S.W., voL x., ISM, p. ns. At 111* cImo at ( valtuhle nunmur of nrk dnlinff with thli 
qncMlDD. Ur. Dune nys (p. O&fi) : '.' At prcaent tho facta seem to aflord grounda tor roDcloding— 

L Tlut numy, II not iJI, the tjTlenl Amtreliiui Boml types orii^niled la AuMnlln or In mae tuid Minnccted 
with it, but now submerged, 

%. Tint the ueuin|itkin of the exfatence or a iiniirenid Ham of inWrA tyiw it uiy epoch I* unronndDd. 

S. That the toadi plant mn^na of Tertiary ago In Koatcrn AuatnUla Indirsto n vcRotiOion In all reapecta almilor 
to that Histiiig on the oaial In the aune latitude at the proeent day. 

To thrae ni<Kht perhap<i be added a taurth ooneluslon o( leae certain choiacter, bat ot hl^h probability, that the 
Prvteaette repreaent a moat ancient type which hod their orlpn at a time when not only extcnalve oreoa of land 
eiiated In the Ssulhem Hemitphere but when eome liind of connection more at Ion lasting oxiatcd between 
Aiwtnlla and SouUi Africa." 



gregarious in isolat«d colonies, sometimos occupying a few square jarda, or even aa 
much as several square miles." The alien plants on the other hand are widely 
distributed and able to adapt themselves to extremes of soil and climate. 

The saxatile vegetation growing on the ranges in crevicee on the escarpments 
and especially on the rocky sides of the deep and shaded gorges supplies the 
greater number of the characteristic Lampintine species. Thus "of seventy 
flowering plants, restrictedly rock dwellers, seven only are of exotic origin." 

A striking feature of many of the species is either their isolation or sporadic 
distribution. The fan-palm, for example (Livistona Maria), is limited to a single 
colony along the Finke gorge and a small tributary, the Palm Creek ; Swainsonta 
canescens was only seen growing in two small colonies a few yards square and 
separated from one another by nearly eighty miles, the grass tree ( Xaniherrhaa 
Thoi-ntoni) occupies a narrow belt of country seventy miles long by thirty wide, 
and other species in the same way occurred only in single or in very few colonies, 
often far apart. 

In the case of certain species we have as it were connecting links between the 
Autochthonian and Euronotian floras. Hibbtrtia glaberrima for example is the 
only species of the section Hemihibbertia extending beyond Western Australia 
and its distribution in the centre connects it with the same species in Queensland ; 
Gasirolobium grandiflorum in the same way stretches across from the west to the 
interior of Queensland and New South Wales, and the same applies to other 
species such as Stypheiia AfikhellU a species found in Queensland whilst the home 
of the genus is in West Australia. 

In the Cenlral Eremian region the prevelance of Salsolaceons plants is a 
striking feature, their place being taken in the Larapintine area by grasseji, the 
most important of which are species of Triodia or "porcupine" gross which extends 
also over large areas of the true desert r^on stretching across to West Australia. 
Other characteristic plants of the Central Eremian area are Cnssin ercmopkUa 
and Eufalyptus microlhtca which in the larapintine district are replaced by 
C. pkyllodinta and E- roslrata. 

Atriptex rAagodioides, Salsola Kali, KocMa aphylla, Bassta diacantha and 
species of Acacia such as A. aneura (Mulga), A. eyptrophylla (red Mulga) and 
A. homalophylla (Giddea) are common and on loamy patches such plants as 
Lepidium papillosum, Euphorbia Drummondii, and species of Ptilotus, 

Speaking generally we may regard the present flora of the centre of the con- 
tinent as consisting of two distinct elements (1) a series of forms which are the 



^Bcendfuits of tboee which occupied the area when under more fuvouratile climatic 
inditions than now exist, it was poasible for plants to spread across both from the 
oat (Autochthoninn), and from the east — especially the nortli-eaat (Euronotian). 
Iiis flom derived partly from the west and partly from the east spread across as 
le land gradually rose after the deposition of the Upper Cretaceous beds, and 
hilst, over a wide region of the centre, the Desert Sandstone formation was 
ling deposited in lacustrine areas. Later on, in Pliocene times, the hygrometric 
inditions still allowed of an inter-communication between the east and west across 
le centre, but in Poet-Pliocene times, with the gradual desiccation, the original 
>ra was slowly extinguished, its representatives lingering only in favoured spots. 
:) The second element consists of a series of more hardy species from the oriental 
igion, which gradually spread southwards, until 6nally the remnants of the 
iginat flora survived only in the shady gorges and escarpments of the mountain 


In the reports by Messrs. Tate and Watt the various geological formations of 
le area traversed are described under the following heads— Pre-Cambri an, 
rdovician, Poet-Ordovician Conglomerate, Upper Cretaceous, Desert Sandstone 
lupra-Cretaceous), Tertiary. 

(1) Prt-Cambrian. 

These comprise the series classed as Pre-Silurian by Mr. Chewings and 
1 Archean by Mr. H. Y. L. firown. Travelling northwards along the overland 
«ck "a sudden and striking change is observable in the lithological character 
' the rocks at the point where those of Pre-Cambrian age succeed the 
ower Silurian, four or five miles south of Alice Springs Telegraph Station, 
eaving quartzites and limestones we find ourselves among rocks of a highly meta- 
lorphic character, such as gneisses and schists of various kinds." To the north 
lese rocks extend to the Burt Plains forming an irregular series of rough, broken 
ills. East and west, where the junction line between the Pre-Cambrian and 
ower Silurian rocks can be seen, the tatter, resting unconformably on the former, 
>nn a prominent ridge with a steep northern escarpment. In the McDonnell 
Anges alone the rocks now described by Messrs. Tate and Watt as Pre-Cautbrian 
re estimated to occupy an area of at least 10,000 square miles, and the " region 
early furnishes an almost typical example of regional metamorphism in which 
reat changes, both physical and chemical, have been produced in the rocks by 



earth-iMOveiuents," The evidence obtained points to the eruptive origin of a large 
part of the inetamorphic group whereas the Cambrian rocks of Auatralia, aa far as 
at present known, are entirely sedimentary. 

In regard to the distinct stratification and definite and determinable dip of 
the rocka described hj Messrs. Brown and Ohewings the conclusion is arrived at 
that " although it may be possible and even in places probable that the planes, 
which are so strongly developed, coincide with the original planes of stratification 
in any laige area where sedimentary rocks may have been developed, yet aa a 
general rule there can be no doubt that these planes represent foliation planes. 
This statement is greatly strengthened by the facts of the coincidence over large 
areas of the strike of these planes, and of their great persistency ; for they are 
traceable not only through rock-mosses, the eruptive origin of which is highly 
probable, but also even through undoubted intrusive dykes. They are therefore 
planes of foliation, of stratification-foliation — that is of foliation corresponding 
with the original bedding planes, it may be in places, but elsewhere assuredly they 
appear to be those of cleavage foliation.'" 

In regard to the age of the rockst it is pointed out that the strong uncon- 
formity separating them from the Lower Silurian gronp shows them to be either 
Pre-Cambrian or Cambrian. In litholt^cal character and tectonic structure they 
differ from tbe known Cambrian strata of Yorke's Peninsula and Flinders Range, 
and agree apparently with the Pre-Cambrian rocks of the Mount Lofty Range. 
Whilst no eruptive dykes have been noted in Central Australia amongst the 
Lower Silurian rocks, they are very numerous amongst the Pre-Oumbriun and 
exhibit different stages of metamorphism in the same district, which tends to show 
that they have been intruded at different periods. If the highly metamorphosed 
rocks were of Cambrian age then some of the eruptive dykes which appeared lost 
might have been expected to have penetrated the Ordovician strata. Lastly, 
whilst the Cambrian rocks of Yorke's Peninsula, the Flinders Range and the 
Kimberley district are fossiliferous there is an entire absence of fossils in the 
metamorphic rocks of tbe centre. 

(2) Ordovidan. 

To this horizon Messrs. Tate and Watt refer the strata forming (with the 
exception of the Post-Ordovician conglomerate to be mentioned later) the series of 
ridges which run roughly parallel to one another from eust to west across the 

■ FutllL, OAOlogf, P.M. \Ue.eU„f.SI, 



centre to the south of tlie Fre-Cambrian arcA. " Beginuing from the north these 
comprise the qunrtzite riHge which forms the southern boumlary of llie Pre- 
Cambrian urea and in which nre ibe Heavitree, Emily, Temple liar, etc., gaps. 
This ridge is succeeded on the south by the Waterhouse, James, George Gill, Levi 

und Cliandter Ranges They have a mean combined width, if we 

include the intervening plains and valleys of from sixty to seventy mites. The 
area occupied by them, therefore, must be more than 15,000 square miles."* 

Certain of these strata have been previously assigned by Messrs. II. Y. Ii. 
Bi-own and Chewinga to the Cambrian period but the subsequent discovciy of 
fossils of Ordovician age in certain of these rocks and of waterworn fragments of 
Ordovician limestone containing characteristic fossils in others show that this 
determination was erroneous. 

Jn 1891 Professor Tate referred certain fossils obtained by Mr. Chewings at 
the head of the Walker River, Mereenie Bluff and Petcrniann Creek to the Upper 
Siiurian, but in the same year Mr. R. Etheridge, Junr., referred fossils secured by 
Mr. H. Y. L. Brown from the same horizon to the Lowtr Silurian age, and the 
latter author then referred the rocks of the George Gill, the James and the 
Ooraminna Ranges to the same age. 

This determination of the Lower Silurian age of the fossil bearing rocks has 
been coniirmed and adopted in the report. 

Messrs. Tate and Watt now eliminate Cambrian from the classiGcation of the 
rocks and " include in the Ordovician system all the strata lying between Mount 
Burrell cattle station on the south and the McDonnell Ranges on the north, with 
the exception of the conglomerate which was observed on the north side uf 
Rudall Creek and on the banks of Ellory Creek north of the Lutheran Mission 
Station (Hermonnsburg)." 

The Ordovician rocks consist for the most part ot quartzites and sandstones 
with beds of limestone, clay-slate, micaceous slates and sandstone. Thus for 
example in the section (Geoli^y, Plate I., Fig, 5) across the McDonnell Range in 
the neighbourhood of Mount Sonder and south to the Missionary Plains, the Pre- 
Camhrian gneiss and mica-schist are seen lying to the north of the range. The 
high ridge is formed mainly of Ordovician quartzite replaced on the south by 
micaceous clay-slate, underlying which are thick beds of mognesian limestone 
which pass to the south under the river alluvium, forming the valley along which 
flows the Davenport Creek. Uneissic granite outcrops in this valley representing. 

* part III., Phyfllcgtl Oonfrraphy, pARC fi. 



pi-obiib)y ail iiilier of Pre-Cambrian rocks. To the south of this valley rise two 
{Kirullel ridges of qunrtzite, enclosing between tUem the Horn Valley, along which 
outcro|>s a band of limestone the existence of which has probably determined the 
line of denudntion which has given rise to the valley. Forming the northern 
)x>und%ry of the brood Missionary Plain and resting unconfonnably upon the 
quartzite of the southern of the two ridges just mentioned lies a bed of Post- 
Ordovician conglomerate. 

Tlie OrJovic-ian strata have been thrown into a series of folds, those of the 
northern part having been subjected to greater disturbance than those of the 

Thus the Levi Range consists of sandstones dipping at low angles — about 8° 
or 10° — to the south on the north side and at about the same angle to the north 
on the south side, the range being thus formed out of a gentle synclinal trough. 
In the north, in the James llange and at Mount Sonder tor example, the strata 
have suffered much greater disturbance, the quartzites dipping at very high angles. 

The folding has been produced along lines running in a general east and west 
direction and " the chief factors in addition to the position of the longitudinal 
valleys occupying the original troughs of the folds, that have influenced the 
direction of the lines of denudation are (1) the lines of weakness on the crowns of 
the anticlinal arches and (2) the position of the bands of limestone. An example 
of the influence of (1) ia furnished by the valley of the Petennann Creek, which 
has been eroded out of an anticlinal arch, while tlie rocks of the corresponding 
synclinal trough now form the George Gill and Levi Ranges. The influence of (2) 
as might have been expected is to be observed throughout this region, the greater 
number of the valleys within these ranges having been, to a great extent, eroded 
out of the limestone beds."* 

The gorges and gaps through which the main stream flows across the s 
ridges, with rocks of quartzite and sandstone rising almost vertically to heights 
varying from 200 to 800 feet above the valleys, owe their origin to the fact that 
the erosion of the river beds in the position of the present gaps kept pace witli the 
upheaval and folding of the strata. By a gradual lowering of their channels as 
the rocks rose the streams have been able to maintain their original course, bo that 
the characteristic feature of the streams flowing over the Ordovician area is the 
fact that lliey do not follow the trend of the main valleys but run at right angles 
to these. 

• Put III., Pb7ii«t Geogmphy, p. 6. 



(3) Post-Ordovician Conglomerate. 

This conglomerate flauke the southern fiice of the quartzite ridge which forms 
the northern houndnry of the Missionary Fining and the southern boundary of the 
Horn Valley. The lower parts of the conglomerate consist of fragments derived 
from the Ordoviciau strata and in this pebhies of red limestone were obtained 
containing the following Ordovician fossils : — Adlnoceras taUt, Paltearca waltii, 
Orlkh dichotomalis. The Post-Ordovician age of this conglomerate was thus 
clearly established. The upper layers were most l&rgdy made up of pebbles 
derived from the Fre-Cambrian rocks, and the total thickness of tho conglomerate 
and conglomeratic sandstone was estimated by Mr. Watt, who carefully examined 
it during a traverse of the ranges, to be not less tjian 7000 feet 

{4) Upper Cretaceous. 

The Cretaceous plains and table-land slope gradually frum their northern 
liniit somewhere in the neighbourhood of Mount Burrell Station, where they have 
an elevation of not less than 1000 feet to Lake Eyre in the south where their 
surface is thirty-nine feet below sea level. 

From these stony and loamy plains rise table-topped hills capped with Desert 

The table-land formation is recognised as contemporaneous with the Rolling 
Downs series of Queensland, which has been assigned by Messrs. Etheridge and 
Jack' to the Lower Cretaceous series but, according to Messrs. Tate and Watt, 
" the facies of the fauna is more akin to that of the European Upper Cretaceous 
while the paheontological differences between it and the Desert Sandstone are 
too slight to jusUfy the application of the terms Lower and Upper to them 
respectively." The Kolliug Downs formation and its equivalent series forming 
the table-lands and plain of the Central area are therefore recognized as Upper 
Cretaceous. The formation is essentially an argillaceous one and the Oodnadatta 
bore which reaches a depth of 1571 feet shows a series " varying from clay shale 
to marly clay intercalated with which are thin argillaceous limestones and some 
sand beds ; these latter occur at various horizons, and the chief supply of water 
was obtained in the basal sands of the section. Thus the general character of the 
strata passed through is like that of other bore sections in the Lake Eyre baBin."t 
Above the level plains rise low hills of which Mount Daniel with an elevation 

■ Occdogr ol (toeuuUtid, Mo., p. 380. t Oeolotty. Put IlL. p. 6£. 



of 1330 ftet above sea level may be taken as aa example. Beneath the Deeert 
Sandslotifl cappin;; (eighteen fectt) are purple and grey shale twenty-two feet ; red 
shale, forty feet and beittath them an unknown thickness of yellow and grey shale. 

Passing northwards towards the James Range, that is towards the old shore 
line of the Cietaceous sea, the shales and clays are replaced as might have been 
expected by sandstone. " For the most part the stratification of the Upper 
Cretaceous is apparently horizontal, though slight undulations of far reaching 
extension prevail in the northern area occupied by the rocks."'*' 

With i-egard to the supply of Artesian water in the Cretaceous area which 
has been dealt with in important papers by Messrs. Etheridge,! Jack{ and Brown§ 
the conclusion is reached owing to tlie " far northerly extension of the Cretaceous 
rocks and tlie replacement of the prevailing argillaceous condition by sandy strata 
towards the northern boundary" that it is probable that in the district traversed 
" the source is, after all, of local origin." The Finke in its course from Henbury 
to Crown Point and the Uoyder and Lilla Creeks near their sources flow approxi- 
mately along the line of junction cf the sandy Cretaceous and the impermeable 
Ordoviciun limestones. In this way, especially as the Cretaceous beds have a 
slight southerly dip the flood waters may be absorbed and carried down to 
considerable deptlis in the depressed Lake Eyre basin and so provide the supply 
obtained by such bores as those at Oodnadatta, Uergott and Strangways. 

(4) Desert Sandstone or Supra-Cretaeeous. 

The greatest thickness of this formation as seen at Crown Point was estimated 
at lifty feet, tt consists there of "sharp grains of glossy quartz, varying much in 
size, cemented by opaque-white highly siliceous matter and more or less stained red 
by oxide of iron."|| The identity of the formation over wide areas of the interior 
from South Australia to Queensland has previously been clearly pointed out by 
Messrs. Jack and Etheridgell and Mr. H. Y. L. Brown.** By Messrs. Jack and 
Etheridge the Rolling Downs are regarded as Lower Cretaceous, the Desert Sand- 
stones as Upper Cretaceous. Mr. Brown on the other hand describing the 
Cretaceous strata between the 139th parallel and the western boundary line of 
Queensland from Lat. 26 to Lat. 3'2 S., says, as quoted by Messrs. Jack and 

* Gwlog}'. Put III,, p. u. 

t 1 0«laer ol tjueeiultind, etc., p|i. 411-133. 

t Aiirt. Aa Ad>. Bci., Briibano. vat. vi., vsa. p. 390. 

i Aurt. Anor. Ad>. Scl.. Sydnej. vol. I., 1ST3, p. iAS. 

KleDlivr, Pnrt III., p. ee. 

f Ouology ot Quccniland. cic. Tho Desert Sanditonu Forniatloo, p. h\\. 

•' Report ol Oav. a«otO(l>t Adelaide. ISO. etc. 



Etheridge, " the strata consist of brittle clays and calcareous shales with bands of 
liinAsUiQe iind gypBum, ctay, ironstone, and ferruginous sandstone and sandy beds 
.... ov«r^vVi^''/^jV/o'v»a//0n are beds of sandstoue, argillaceous snndstoiie, kiwliii, 
grit and pebbly coQgloinerato forming table-lands and hills almost invariably 
capped by a thin bed of yellow and red flinty quartz)t« or jasper rock the total 

thickness varying from one hundred t<> two hundred feet The composition 

of these Super-Cretaceous beds is the same over wide areas from the Warrego in 
New South Wales, to the Diamintina." Messrs. Jack and Etheridgc say : " It 
will 1)6 seen that Mr. Brown does not distinctly aver that the " Super-Cretoceous " 
rocks described by him lie uncomformably on the Cretaceous ; there can be no 
doubt however that he so understands their relations, as is evident from the 
section occompaDying the report. The identity of the " Super-Cretaceous " of 
South Australia with the Desert Sandstone of Queensland in Mr. Brown's mind is 
settled by his remark that the Grey Banges of New South Wales and Queensland 
belong to the same formation. The " porcellaaised " condition of a portion of the 
sandstone on the South Australian side of the border is a very interesting 
observation in view of the " quasi- vitreous " appearance of the formation at 
Cloncurry and Croydon on the Queensland side. 

The superposition of Tertiary Rocks on the Desert Sandstone of South 
Australia is an observation of the highest importance, as direct evidence of this 
nature is quite wanting in Queensland, and Daintree ascribed a Tertiary age to 
the Desert Sandstone itself."* 

Messrs. Tate and Watt agree with Mr. Brown in assigning a Supra-Cretaceous 
age to the Desert Sandstone. 

Whilst no fossils have actually been recognised in the Desert Sandstone of 
tlie Finke Basin, plant impressions have been reported by Mr. Brown, Professor 
Tate and others as occurring, together with marine molluscs, in the Desert 
Sandstone of the basins of Lakes Eyre, Frome, Torrens and Gairdrier. In addition 
to the only two plant remains previously assigned to the Desert SandstonCjt viz., 
Didymosums (T) gltichenioides and Ulossopteris sp., Professor Tate now adds ten 
more and states that " the flora here indicated is analagous with that at Vegetable 
Creek and Dalton, described by Baron von Ettingshausen, and on paleeontologic 
ground has been regarded by him as Eocene. The same type of flora is preserved 
at various localities in Victoria, the age of which is considered by McCoy to be 

■ Owlocy ol Ctueendaiid, etc, p. 6M. t Ooology of Quooiiiluid. p. GM. 



Messrs. Hall und Pritchardf however liave shown thai euitftin plant 
G in Victoria tie below the marine Ek>cene, "and this," says Professor 
Tntu, "aceords well with the general fact that wherever the liase of the marine 
Eocene is reached lacustrine and plaat-bearing beds succeed in depth." 

In the section dealing with Fost-Oretaceoiis Phenomona the question of the 
silicification of the Upper and Supra-Cretaceous rock is dealt with. Messrs. Jack 
and "Etheridge,! in referring to the deposition of the Rolling Downs and Desert 
Sandstone, point out that the latter must at one time have occupied at least three- 
quarters of the pi-esent surface of Queensland, though now its denuded remnants 
only cover about one-twentieth of their original urea. After the Rolling Downs 
formation had been laid down a considerable upheaval took place. " The denuda- 
tion of the Rolling Downs formation followed and must have gone on for some 
time. Unequal movements of depression then brought about lacustrine conditions 
on portions of the now uplifted 1>ottoai of the old sea strait, and in other portions 
permitted of the admission of the waters of the oceaa Finally a general upheaval 
placed the deposits of the period just concluded in nearly the positions in which 
we now &nd them." 

Messrs. Tate and Watt point out that after the deposition, lirst of the Upper 
Cretaceous, and then of the Supra-Cretaceous (Desert Sandstone), both series under- 
went a considerable amount of denudation before the silicification, which is now so 
characteristic a feature of the latter, took phuse. " In every example of siliciti- 
cation of the sediments of Upper Cretaceous age there is no covering bed, and 
when the Desert Sandstone is present the alteration is limited to that formation. 
]t may therefore be inferred that denudation of the Cretaceous plateau preceded 
the process of silicification, which acting from above downwards affected whatever 
sediment chanced to be at the surface." The greatest amount of silic ideation is 
seen between the Stevenson River and Charlotte Waters in which district also the 
the largest number of obsidian bombs and unrolled agates are found. 

The origin of the silicification is very dillicult to account for. At present two 
theories have been advanced ( 1) Mr. Easl^ has supposed that it is due to deposition 
from silicated waters, the siliceous material being derived from tiie decomposition 
of the metamorphic rocks of the McDonnell Ranges and that the silicification took 

• Gensn] Oeologjr, p. 07, S8. 

» AuM. Au, Adv. ScL. vol, v.. AdeUMe, 18S3. p. 33«. 

t Oeotcgy ol Queraalud, etc., p. 511. 

i J. J. G«t"On UiaOootoginl Btructuro Rlld Phyalciil Fwtunn ol Centnl AuitnllB." Tiui. R.8. 3. Aust., 



place during the later iitag«)> of depositions of the Desert Sandstone whilst Messrs. 
Tate and Watt have argued tliat a considerable interval must have elapecd between 
the formation of the Desert Sandstone and the si licifi cation ; (2) Messrs. Tate and 
Watt point out that the formation of ngates and obsidian bombs and of the 
Desert Sandstone Breccia require a common origin and suggest that though there 
are great dilficulties in the way of its acceptance because of the " widespread 
silicitication and the actual absence over it« area of any traces of actual volcanic 
outbursts " it ia essential to assume the former existence of volcanic action, the 
silicates of the ash beds or larva beitig the source of the requisite siliceous material. 
" The obnidian bombs demand volcanic action .... The development of 
agates within the volcanic material was only another phase of siliceous precipitation. 
Of this suppositious volcanic formation alt that remeuns arc the agates and the 
obsidian bombs." 

Tertiary. — Professor Tate has on previous occasioiis drawn attention to the fact 
that in what he terms the newer Pliocene times pluvial conditions prevailed over 
the central area. Indications of this are to be seen in the form of gravels through 
which the present river channels have cut their way, und in the form of terraces 
along the margin of the broad valleys along which now wander the reduced water 
courses. At that time Lake Eyre must have been an inland sea, and fossil 
remains prove that it was inhabited by alligators now extinct {Pallimnarchui 
pollens), and by such fish as Ceratodus, while the land was inhabited by a marsu- 
pial fauna consisting of genera such as Diprotodon, the larger number of whic& 
are now extinct. The river Ooyder close to where we crossed it ran between cliffs 
about thirty feet high composed of river detritus ; on the north side of the escarp- 
ment at Crown Point, a. well-defined shingle beach rises to an elevation of fifty 
feet, while three niiles south of this the Yellow Clifi*, fifty feet high, bounding the 
southern bank of the water-course, consiste of tumultuously bedded sandstones and 

The former existfnce of a considerable lacustrine area is shown also by a 
fossil deposit at Dalhousie, which has the nature of a gypsiferous tuff containing 
numerous shells of Melaniii venustula, M. lutosa, M. batonntnsh, Bithinia au!traiis 
and Cariikula subl<Bvigata. None of these were found in the waters of the mound 
spring close to which is the deposit, nor are they found living in the immediate 
neighbourhood, while Ai. lutosa does not now occur in the central area. 

Palaonlology. — In regard to this the more important facts as detailed by 
Professor Tate are as follows. 



Foesiliferous limcetoue beds, of the same horizon, were met with at Ilpilla 
gorge aear Tempo Downs, near Peterraann Creek and cloee to Leuiie Creek. 
Away to the north the same series outcrops along the whole length of the Horn 
Valley. In conjunction with and underlying these beds, are foasiliferous quartzites 
ant} Bftudstones ; in addition the quartzite of Chandler Range and Mount Watt 
yielded fossils. 

The uppermost zone is rich in Orthis levUnsh while below this are beds rich in 
Tribolite remains, the most important palsontological find of the Expedition being 
that of an entire Asaphus illarensis, Etb. fils., as up to the present time though 
Trilobites Itave been described from the beds only frugnients have beeu found. In 
addition to this species three others were secured, viz., Asaphus thorntoni, Kth. 
fils., Asaphus howchini, Eth. fils., and Asaphus Hssopeltis, Tate, the last-named being 
a new species. 

In addition to the Trilobites the limestones yielded numerous species of 
Orthoceras and Endoceras whilst the limestones, sandstones and quartzites yielded 
a remarkable preponderance of Isoarcie, imparting to this fauna a local feature. 

Not a trace of graptolites was discovered. So far as the correlation of the 
fossil benriog rocks is concerned Professor Tate is of opinion, though the proofs are 
not conclusive, that " there is presumptive evidence that the Gordon River group 
(/.«., of Tasmania) and the Larapinttne series are contemporaneous and younger 
than the Victorian graptolite slates," and be is also inclined on account of its 
representative fauna to regard the Larapintine series as the equivalents of the 
Caradoc series of England. 


The origin and relations of the present flora and fauna of Central Australia 
are intimately bound up with the past history of the continent, firstly as regards 
its relationship to other land masses and secondly as regards the changes which 
have taken place in the form of tbe continent and the relations of the various 
parte of the present land area. In his presidential address to the Australasian 
Association for the Advancement of .Science held in Adelaide in 1893, Professor 
Tnte has given a valuable summary of our geological knowledge of the interior of 
the continent He has shown that Sturt was the first to surmise the fact that in 
Pliocene times there existed pluvial conditions when the southern part of the 
central area centering in the Lake Eyre district was occupied by a great inland 



tjGii. or series uf fresli water lukes. The exieteoce of these rendered possible, 
tbough not known to Sturt, the large series of qow extinct marsupials such as 
Diprotodoti, mid it also made possible a counectioti between the western and the 
eastern parts of the continent. 

For a fuller account of the various workers who have dealt with this subject 
the reader is referred to the above-inentioned address of Professor Tate, whose own 
work Is undoubtedly the nioet valuable which luis been publi>ihed during the past 
few ye.ars hi connection with the past history of Central Australia. For many 
years also Professor Tate* has been engiiged in collecting and collating information 
with regard especially to Ixttanica) feature, and the result of thcee he embodied in 
his presidential address to the Biological Section of the Australasian Association 
in Sydney in 1888 entitled "On the Influence of Physiographic Changes in the 
Distribution of Life in Australia." In that addnss, after reviewing the geological 
changes which are now known to have taken place iji Central Australia and their 
influence ou the distribution especially of plants within the limits of the continonC, 
Professor Tate, mainly on botanical grounds, proposed the division of the Endemic 
Austi-alian flora into three types and of the continent into three corresponding 
regions : — 

1. Euronotian, occupying the coastal area on the north, east and south-east, 
its internal I>oundary coinciding with the rainfall limit of 35-50 inches per annum. 

2. Autocklhonian, a smwll region restricted to the south-west comer of the 
continent, its internal boundary also coinciding with the same rainfall limit in 

this part. 

3. Eremian, occupying a large stretch of country, centering in Lake Eyre but 
extending right across the continent to the shores of Western Australia, and over 
which the average rainfall is less than ton inches per annum. 

In regard to the Euronotian region Professor Tate says that the typo flora 
of this is "dominant in the south and east part of the continent." 

Mr. Hodley, at the Australasian Association meeting held in Adelaide in 
I893,t in his paper entitled " The Faunal Regions of Australia," pointed out that 
the regions suggested as suitable In the case of plants were not equally siitisfactory 
when applied to animals. Accepting the Autochthonian and Eremian regions he 
suggested the division of the Euronotian into two, for one of which, including 



TAsmoDin, Victoria and suutliern New South Wnles the name Euronotinn shoul<l 
be retained, whilst for the second, including Queensland and northern New Soutli 
Wales, he suggested the name Papuan. 

There b no doubt but that Mr. Hedley's division of the Euronotinn into 
these two parts is essential so far as zoology is concerned, in fact such a division 
was already hinted at by Professor Tate in respect of botanical features in the 
T«mark that the Euronotian type was dominant in the south and east part of the 
wider region to which he applied the tei-m. 

In dealing with the question of the relations of the flora and fauna of the 
various parts of Australia as we find them existing at the present tinte, perhaps 
the point of most importance is the demonstration of the fact that for a long 
period of time the east snd west parts of the continent were separated from one 
another by an impenetrable barrier of some description. Mr. Hedley says ;* 
"Owing to fundamental errors of his interpretation of Australian geology, 
Wallace's treatment of the subject in ' Island Life ' is of but slight value." It is 
quite true that, owing t« the imperfection of our geological knowledge when Mr. 
Wallace wrote, he was mistaken in suggesting that a great inland Tertiary sea 
acted as a barrier, but whilst this is so, the main facts of central importance were 
most clearly enunciated by Wallace who, arguing from a knowledge of Sir Joseph 
Hooker's work, wrote :t "These facts again clearly point to the conclusion that 
south-western Australia is the remnant of the more extensive and more isolated 
portion of the continent in which the peculiar flora was principally developed. 
But whilst this rich and peculiar flora was in process of formation, the 
eofltem portion of the continent must either have been widely separated from the 

western or had perhaps not yet risen from the ocean During some 

portion of the Secondary period therefore this (/.?., the east) side of Australia 
must have been almost wholly submerged beneath the ocean ; and if we suppose 
that during this time the western part of the continent was at nearly its maximum 
extent and elevation, we shall have a sufficient explanation of the great difference 
between the flora of Western and Eastern Australia, since the latter would only 
have been able to receive immigrants from the former, at a later period, and in a 
more or less fragmentary manner." 

Whilst the more exact nature of the barrier and of the successive geological 
changes occurring in the central area of the continent since Cretaceous times have 
been demonstrated by other workers, notably by Messrs. Etheridge and Jack, 

• lor. cit., p. 4M. f " IiUnil Ufe," l)t «lLt, tSSO, p. 404. 



Professor Tato and Mr. H, Y. L. Brown, there can be little doubt but that the 
work of Mr. Wnllac-e in regard to the distribution of animals and plants in 
Australia is second in importance to that ot no other writer, both in relation to 
its suggestiveness and to the conclusions which he draws, though at the same 
time, with increasing knowledge, it may be necessary to modify certain ot Uic 

What Bcema to have been probably the history of the changes during and 
since Cretaceous times in the centre of the continent is : — 

1. The existence of a great marine area in which the Upper Cretaceous rocks 
forming the Rolling Powns system were deposited, and by which the central 
district now forming the Higlicr Steppes iind including the McDonnell, James and 
other ranges in the Centre was isolated from both the botanical Autochthonian 
region on the west and the comparatively narrow coastal strip on the east and 

2. After the elevation and partial denudation ot the Rolling Downs system 
another submergence occurred, when the same region was occupied partly by a 
marine but mainly and especially in the central-southern area by a great Lacustrine 
area, and at this time the Desert Sandstone (Supra-CrotaceouB) was deposited. 

3. The Lacustrine area gradually diminished, but pluvial conditions or at al) 
events a greater rainfall than the present one continued into Pliocene times. 

4. During the latter periods tbe Coastal Range, then much higher than now, 
formed a barrier between the lar^ internal, well-watered area and the narrow 
coastal atrip. 

5. In Post-Pliocene times desiccation ensued. 

So far as the flora is concerned the original divbion ot the continent into a 
western and an eastern half, the former containing the Autochthonian constituent, 
is generally admitted. At the present time, the former, which, as is generally 
agreed upon, was isolated from the eastern halt during Cretaceous times, 
contains the typical Australian series of genera and is, in this respect, to be 
strongly contrasted with the Eurouotian or eastern flora which was, as Professor 
Tate says, "superimposed by the Oriental and Andean incursions." To these may 
be added the same author's conclusion that the Eremian flora was developed in 
Central Australia in Pliocene times "from Autochthonian and Euronotiiui elements 
and largely modified by Oriental immigrants." 



In connection with this it may be noted that there is considerable difTercnce 
of opinion with regnrd to the existence of a cosmopolitan flora in the sense in 
wliicli the t«Tm is used by Professor Tate when speaking of " tliat primitive flora 
which mftrks the close of the Cretaceous and the early st^es of the Tertiary 
period, as has been made known chiefly by the researches of Buron vnn 
Ettingahausen." If such a flora did exist then it is somewhat diflicult to 
understand the relationships of the flora of the Autochthonian region. 

The date of the prevalence of this supposed cosmopolitan flora is given by 
Professor Tate in his general conclusions referring to the Lnrapintine flora 
(Botanical Report, p. 135), as Supra-Cretaceous and continuing into Paleocene 
times. That b, it originated subsequently to the time at which the Cretaceous sea, 
in which the gre^t Rolling I>owns formation was deposited, separated the western 
island oflf from the eastern coastal area, and during which time the Autochthonian 
flora which subsequently spread eastwards was being developed. This Autoch- 
thonian flora, which on this supposition antedated the cosmopolitan flora, already 
contained the now more typical series of Australian forms, the Euronotian 
having been more modified by Oriental and Andean immigration. If the present 
typical Australian flora is to be regarded as derived from the Autochthonian, then 
it is somewhat difficult to see the exact rAle played by a cosmopolitan flora which 
appeared on the scene after the development of the present typical Australian flora. 

If it be, on the other hand, suggested that this Autochthonian itself is to be 
regarded as a part of the cosmopolitan flora,* then it is a somewhat curious fact 
that in the present western flora, which has been to a very large extent (in the 
restricted area to which Professor Tate has applied the name of Autochthonian 
r^on) shut off by barriers from an immigration of Oriental and Andean types, 
we only find, and abundantly so, representatives of typical Australian genera and 
not a trace of such doubtful forms as Quercus, Betula, Salix, etc., upon the 
presence of which in fossil remains the theory of the cosmopolitan flora in Australi.i 
really rests. If the Autochthonian was directly derived from the cosmopolitan flora, 
then we might surely have expected to find some relics of such genera, and the 
entire absence of them and the presence amongst endemic genera of only the 
typical Australian flora of the present day seems to be, so far as it goes, strong 
evidence against the existence of Baron von Ettingsbausen's cosmopolitan flora. 

■ In thli cue of oouiH the dile at the connopolltiin flon miut be anlgned to an euller period Uun Supra- 
CretAcocHU mnd pAleocena or even tele Cretooeoua u the Autochthonlui 11on» aa Profenor Tite nyfl» wjka 
"dlimembend in CnUccotu time*," in (act, during IJppcr Cretaceous times Itwu laoUted by (he acn in wblch 
the Rolling Dovni lonnstlon mu deposited. 



Whilst this matter ia one upon which two contrary opinions are held, there can 
be no doubt but that Professor Tnt«'s botanical regions, especially talcing into 
account the existence of two subsidiary divisions in his larger Euronotian region, 
indicate a most important addition to our knowledge of the general features and 
relationships of the Australian flora. 

As Professor Tate stated in his address " On the Influence of Physit^raphic 
Changes in the Distribution of Ijfe in Australia," his work had reference mainly 
to the flora and that in the case of the fauna it yet remained to zoologists " to fuse 
the species into geographic groups." 

Inasmuch as our present knowledge of the Central Fauna is now considerably 
more complete than it was before the Horn Expedition and that in the case of 
certain large and important groups such as the Mammalia and Lacertilia we are 
now better able to judge of the relationship of the fauna of various parts 
of the continent, it may be worth while both to indicate the general relationships 
of the fauna of the central area and to attempt to outline certain general faunal 
regions into which probably the continent may be divided- 

In certain respects the fauna stands in strong contrast to the flora. We And 
no great Autochthonian region occupying the western and south-western part of 
the continent. There ia amongst the higher forms no series of characteristic 
Australian animals, unless it be to a certain extent amongst the lizards and birds, 
which can he considered as having been largely represented and developed in this 
western area during its long period of isolation, in fact amongst mammals it would 
seem, judging by their present distribution and the almost entire absence of any 
which may be regarded as at once primitive and peculiar to the west, that the 
latter did not actually possess any when it first became separated oflf from the east 
in the Cretaceous period during the deposition of the Rolling Downs formation. 

In Australia we have thus an ancient western flora which contained repre- 
sentatives of the forma upon which the present floral regions are based whilst the 
same region probably did not contain many representatives of the more highly 
developed animals upon the present distribution of which faunal regions must be 
largely based, though at the same time it contained representatives of lower groups 
which have also to be taken into account, the members of certain higher groups 
only reaching it at a later period. 

Hence it is that the floral and faunal areas of the continent are, in certain 
important respects, far from being co-incident. 


rUHART. 177 

Tho details with regard to the distribution of the membera of the various 
groups represented in the central fauna have already been jpven in the Bummary of 
zoological work. The general conclusion with regard to each may be stated briefly 
as follows : — 

The Monotremata are repre9ent«d by one species widely distributed over all 
tho continent except the north-west, the Marsupiab'a consist of species characteristic 
of all the interior but not including certain characteristic genera of the north-east 
and the south-eastern coastal district including Tasmania, the Rodentia are clearly 
derived from the east, the birds represent in the main a series widely dispersed 
over the southern half of the continent, the Amphibia are very few in number and 
are closely allied to eastern species, the lizards represent both ubiquitous, northern 
and perhaps especially western forms, whilst the Mollusca arc on the whole western 
forms with a slight admixture of eastern and north-eastern but with none of the 
characteristic forms which have travelled from Tasmania northwards along the east 
coast, while in the case of Micropliyuro, amongst the Mollusca and Acanthodrilus, 
amongst the earthworms we have rare examples of forms which have evidently 
travelled in from the north-east by way of an ancient land connection, stretching 
southwards to the east of the present continent— a connection which gave to New 
Zealand a certain admixture of such Australian types of plants as travelling from 
the west had reached this portion of the eastern coast, t It may at the same time 
be taken for granted that there were then no marsupials present in the west or 
centre or assuredly the path which could be traversed by a Microphyura or 
Acanthodrilus could also be traversed by a mammal as it was, in all likelihood, by 
the stnithiouB birds. At this time, which probably coincided with the upheaval of 
the Boiling Downs formation above the level of the Cretaceous sen, there must have 
been a means of couimunication across from the north-east to the centre and away 
to iJie west, which is a point of considerable importance in regard to the early 
distribution of certain now distinctive Australian types. 

Speaking generally, there is no evidence pointing to the fact that in the 
case of the most important groups of Australian animals — the Monotremes 
and the Marsupials — the old western part of the continent has any claim to the 
title Autochthonion. If this were so, then we might expect to find, at all events 
in the well-watered south-western portion, the lower group — the Monotremata — 
well represented, whereas the Platypus docs not extend to West Australia and the 
Echidna is as widely, in fact more widely, distributed over the eastern portion. 

t WbIImm, " Itlutd Llle," IK BdJt., p. MS. 



Nur oguiQ in tlie case of the Mnrsupials do we find any distinctive fomiE, such us 
we might hnye expected to meet with, amongst the poljprotodonts, with the 
single exception of Myrmecobiua, whicli liowever extends right across from the 
inland borders of Queensland and New South Wales to West Australia, and nmy 
just as reasonably be regarded as having wandered across from t)ic east to the west 
as vice versa. 

It has apparently been sometimes taken for granted that the West Australian 
fauna contiiins, as contrasted with the rest of the continent, ancient and primitive 
forms, but this conclusion is not, at all events so far as the higher forms of life are 
concerned, borne out by the facts. Amongst the marsupials, for example, the 
only genera coniined to it are to be found amongst the diprotodonts and not, as 
might have been expected, amongst the polyp rotodonts. 

What constituted the fauna of the large western area during the time when 
the Cretaceous sea separated it off from the east we have little means of ascertaining. 
Amongst the Mollusca it may have been the early ancestors of the Xanthonielon 
group, a few examples of which passed across the centre to the north-east; amongst 
the Amphibia the peculiarly Australian genera are eastern forms only comparatively 
poorly represented in the western fauna and cannot be regarded as having been, 
developed in the west; amongst the Laciirtilia perhaps representatives of the family 
Fygopodidie and of other forms such as Amphibolurus may have existed, but it is 
dit&cult to believe that either Monotremes or Marsupials can have been present. 

It is quite true that the proportion of Polypiotodont species present in the 
west as compored with Diprotodont is greater than in the case of Victoria, New 
South Wales and Queensland, but this is simply due to the tact that these were 
developed on the eastern side of the continent and thence spread west and south.* 

This absence (if the fact be established) from the western area in times 
preceding the Upper Cretaceous period of the ancestors of the Monotreme and 
Marsupial fauna Is of importance in connection with the probable way in which 
the latter entered Australia, for there has been no direct land connection between 
the north-west and Asia since that period. If they were not in the western area 
when it was dismembered then we are reduced to their reaching Australia by one 
of two routes (1) via an uplifted Torres Straits, and (2) via a south-eastern connec- 
tion with Antarctic lands, and so across to South America. The former route b 
practically negatived by the feeble development of the polyprotodont fauna in 



north-eastern Australift, for it has evidently sprend northwards rather than south- 
wards aRing the east coast, and it may also be added that the absence o( Platypus 
in the north-east b evidence against this route of migration, so that ve arc, in 
reality, brought to the conclusion that the primitive marsupial, and possibly the 
primitive Monotreme fauna also, entered Australia from the south. 

The discoverie-s of recent years with regard to the extinct marsupial fauna 
of South America together with the alliance between Austmlia and the latter 
continent as shown by such form na Cystignathoua frogs, certain birds and 
amongst fishes by the Oyclostomata and Galaxias, etc., and Qundlnchia amongst 
Molluscs, point to a former land connection across Antarctic regions. 

Apart from the question of an ancient connection of Australia with Asia 
there must have been two other connections existing: 

(1) The first of these was, according to Mr. Wallace, with North-East 
Australia itself and a land stretching southwards to the east of the continent and 
now represented by various land-remnants — New Zealand, New Caledonia, Lord 
Howe and Norfolk Islands— and accounting both for the presence of certain Austral- 
ian types of plants in the New Zealand flora and also as previously referred to for 
the presence of Microphyura amongst Molluscs and Acanthodrilus amongst eorth- 
worms which are not found in the south-eastern parts of the continent, and 
probably also for the distribution of struthious birds. Mr. Hedley, on the other 
hand, is of opinion* that the element in the Australian fauna indicating affinity 
with New Zealand is to be sought for in the connection of a similar land area 
with an older Papuan land which was again united to the north-east of Australia. 

(2) The second connection was, according to the theory herein advocated, 
between the south-eastern part of Australia, stretching across what b now 
Tasmania, and allowed of the introduction of the early mammalian fauna by 
way of a land connection with South America. 

At this time what is now Bass Straits was dry land, allowing of communi- 
cation with the south-eastern part of the continent, whence animals could spread 
northwards along the east coast and westwards into the central and southern parts 
of the continent. The first of these connections probably took place after the 
elevation of the Rolling Downs (Upper Cretaceous) series, and the second at a 
somewhat later period and at a time when what is now New Zealand had lost the 
connection with the southern antarctic lands, by way of which it prolwhly 



received such portions of its fnunn as Acanthodrilus, wiiilo the connection l>etween 
New Zealand and the north-east of Auatnilia (or the Papuan land) nfust have 
disappeared before the marsupial fauna had reached so far north on the continent. 
This second connection must however have taken place before Pliocene times, as 
then Australia had a well developed marsupial fauna, and may perhaps have taken 
place just at the close of the Cretaceous period and before the deposition of the 
Eocene beds which exist, as at Table Cape, along the northern shore of Tasmania.* 
Judging by the absence in the latter of certain typical Diprotodonts, ns well as of 
the Dingo, there has been, at any rat«, no land connection between Tasmania 
and the continent during or since the Pliocene period. 

If this be so, then at the close of the Cretaceous period, whilst the rich 
Australian flora was located mainly in the western and south-western part of the 
continent and was gradually extending over to the east, the main portion of the 
at present typical Australian fauna, at least so far as the Mammalia, Pisces, 
Amphibia, and perhaps to a lesser extent the Aves and Reptilia arc concerned, 
was located in the south-east and eastern parts of the continent and was gradually 
spreading north and west. 

A slightly later union across the Torres Straits allowed of a poBsagc further 
north of certain types amongst the marsupials and a passage south into the 
continent of other forms, such as the .true Rano. 

The present fauna may therefore be regarded as consbting of some four 
elements which may be very briefly outlined as follows: — 

(1). An older one derived from a land connection with Asia, the constituents 
of which it is difficult to define and which existed partly in the western and partly 
in the eastern division when these two were separated. We may perhaps regard 
as representatives of this original fauna such forms as Xanthonielou amongst the 
mollusca of the western area, Peripatus amongst the Arthropods and Ccratodus 
amongst the fish of the eastern side. It is also quite possible that along with the 
development of the Autochthonian flora were developed in the western area, such 
characteristic Australian families of birds as the Meliphagidte (honey eaters) and 
TrichogloBsidie (brush-tongued parakeets), and amongst lizards the well marked 
Pygopodidie and perhaps others such as the members of the genus Amphibolurus 
and the curious Moloch horridus, which at the present day arc characteriBtic features 
of the western fauna. 

te Cntweoui uxl one In Hloceoe timts. 



(2). A series derived from a councclion with a Iniid area now lying to tlie ciwt 
ii( the contiaeat (and coaiieetcd also with the Papuan region) represented by 
Microphyum and Acaritbodrilus amoagst lower forms and the strutbious birds 
amongst vortebrata. 

(3). A euries derived from the Auatro-Mnlayian region and including such 
forms OS the Paradisoidn and Megapodiidie amongst birds, the true Raoa amongst 
amphibia, lizards such as Heteronota, Phy signal li us, etc., earthworms such as true 
Perichteta, etc. 

(4). A large and important series derived from the south and indicating a 
former cotmection with Soutli America across Antarctic lands during a period not 
later than the Miocene. These include, amongst mammnlia, tlie ancestors of the 
marsupialia, amongst amphibia certain cystignathous frogs, and amoogst fishes 
Aphritis, Haplochtton, Oalaxias, and the lamprey Geotria. 

Whilst there are considerable difficulties to be met— principally in the way 
of explaining why certain forms are not present Jn Australia — if this connection 
with South America be granted yet it must be allowed that with an increase in 
our knowledge of the past and present distribution of various forms the evidence 
in favour of such a connection, as advocat«d by such writers as Forbes, Beddard 
and Iledley on various grounds, has steadily increased, and, at the present time, 
it is difficult to account for the distribution of the marsupials, and other forms 
mentioned, in any other way. 

I have endeavoured above to show that the evidence is against the existence 
of primitive marsupial typos in the old western area of the continent when it was 
separated from the eastern part, while the diminution of polyprotodonts as wo 
pass north along the eastern side is strong evidence against tiieir having entered 
Australia across tlie Torres Straits There has been, further, no direct connection 
with the Asian continent since the east and west parts of Australia became united 
in late Cretaceous times, and we are therefore reduced to the suppoeitiou that they 
reached Australia by way of America. 

The development and distribution of the existing fauna within tho Australian 
continent has been largely influenced by (1) the condition uf the interior, and {'i) 
the existence of a high range running parallel to the south-east and eastern coast 
lines and separating off a narrow but fertile and well-watered coastal strip of land 
from a larger internal area, which since Pliocene times has been gnulually 
becoming more and more dry, with tho result that a climatic barrier has replaced 
an earlier one formed by the Cretaceous sea. 


If wo go back to the close of the Cretaceous period we find tlmt after the 
elevation of the bed of the old Upper Cretaceous sea, the west iiu J east were probably 
united aud the couditions of climate were such that luiiiual and plant life could 
spread across. 

Following upon this was a period during which n barrier existed in the form 
partly of a marine, but most largely probably in the form of a great lacustrine 
area; with a diminution of this area the central part of the continent probably 
presented a land surface, watered by large rivers, which were fed by an abundant 
supply of water partly from the ranges in the centre, partly from those fringing the 
east and south-east coast. The latter were doubtless higher tliau at present and 
during the continuance of these pluvial conditions may even have been capped with 
snow.* At all events they served as a barrier separating a coastal fauna from an 
internal fauna. At the present time the barrier ia a climatic one, dependent upon 
the difference of rainfall, but at that time as there was an abundant rainfall and 
consequently an abundant supply of vegetation on both sides of the coastal ranges, 
the barrier must have been of a different nature from tliat which exists at the 
present day and is probably to be found in the then greater height of the ranges. 

If now we suppose the marsupial fauna to have entered Australia from the 
south across what is now Tasmania, there was a period during which the incoming 
fauna could travel along two routes, one leading up the eastern coast, the other 
westwards towards what is now South Australia, across the lower country where 
the present Dividing range sinks away at its western end. 

This primitive marsupial fauna consisted of the representatives of poly- 
protodont forms, which gradually sj>read over the continent in all directions. 

On the eastern side of the continent over what is now the dry interior of Mew 
South Wales, South Australia, and Queensland spread a vast tract of country then 
covered with an abundant vegetation and from which there was in Northern New 
South Wales and Southern Queensland, to a certain extent, a passage to the eastern 
coastal district where the ranges were more irreguUr and less marked than in the 

It is possible that even the early ancestors of the Diprotodonts reached 
Australia from Soutli America but as yet the evidence in favour of this is very 

* Id hLa '^ Gco^nphJoal UiRtory of Muujiiala," Mr. Lydekk^ sUta thjit VJotorla posflefloea " a lUDuntalD imge 
■hDM nuniniU an perpetually olothed with hdoh'.'' Thli ii nther niialaikdlus, tai though It !■ juit poslblc that 
■now nuy reaiaiu tbnnif h the length ol the ouoiEaer In null pateha In very Bheltored Rpota on Uonnt Koodoiko 
(here ii no luch tblug as a perpetually anow^apped mountain, much leai nnge. In AnitnUa. 



However, whether the earliest forms of true Diprototloiits were developed 
within or outside of the limits of Australia we are probably safe iu concludiug 
that the characteristic Diprotoduats of the region were developed in the groat, 
fertile eastern area of the interior and along the coast, and spread thence over the 
continent, and northwards into the Papuan region.* 

The larger forms now extinct, such as species of Diprotodon, Nototherium, 
Phascolonus, Macropus, Protrninodon, etc., reached their greatest development in 
Pliocene times nnd were characteristic of the eastern interior, spreading southwards 
round the western end of the Dividing Kango into Victoria. They do not seem 
to have reached the eastern coastal district 

In Post-Pliocene times, with the increasing desiccation of the whole central 
area they l)ecanie extinct, though this extinction cannot be attributed wholly to 
the drying up of the land, because in certain parts, such as Western Victoria, to 
which they reache<l, the state of desiccation did not supervene ; but at the same 
time it may perhaps be justly argued that the desiccation of the vast area of the 
interior was tlie largest factor iu their extinction. 

Another fact niay be noted with regard to this extinct fauna, and that is that 
at the tiitie of its development couimunication with Tasmania hod apparently been 
shut off, at any rate no representative of tins fauna reached the island, nor did the 
Dingo, which appeared on the mainland prior to the final disappearance of the 
large Dtprotoilontia, as its remains have been described by Sir F. McCoy as 
occurring in Pliocene deposits at Coloc in company with those of Diprotodon. 

Side by side probably with the specialisation of the Diprotodonts the less 
m<xli6ed Polyprotodonts were likewise giving rise to the existing types, but 
amongst them no such relatively gigantic forms were developed as amongst the 

Pernmeles, Dasyurus, Pbascologale and Bminthopsis spread widely over the 
whole of the continent from Tasmania in the south to New Guinea in the north, 
and from the Indian coast on the west to the Pacific coast on the east. Certain 
forms, however, such as Myrmecubius which may perhaps represent a primitive 
and little modified form, Peragale, Chiuropus, Antechinomys, Dasyuroides and the 
anomalous Notoryctes either not sprea<1ing beyond or being gradually confined to 
the drying up interior of the continent, whilst on the other hand Thylacinus and 
Sarcophilus must be regarded as south-eastern forms, the immediate ancestors of 



which may perhaps have entered somewhat later than the original polyprotodont 
fauna. Their range on the continent was refitricted as compared with that of 
other polyprotodontB and this, despite the fact that they were, judged by their 
strength and ferocity, quite as well able to maintain a footing as their close allies 
the species of Dasyunis. Possibly they owe their extinction on the mainland to 
competition with the Dingo with which, being to a large extent arboreal as well 
as terrestrial, the Dasyurus did not enter into such close competition. 

The existing Diprotodonts we may divide into four groups ; — 

(I). A widespread and presumably early developed series comprising represen- 
tatives of the genus Macropus, Bettongia, Fotorous, Dromicia,* Trichosurus and 
Pseudochirus which we may regard as having been developed in the great central 
area, and as having spread thence in all directions. 

(2). A series of forms also developed in the central area and confined to this 
and the soutb-western parte of the continent. This includes representatives of 
the genera Petrogale, Onychogale, Ijigorchestos, Caloprymnus, Lagostrophns and 
Tarsipes, some of which are now widely distributed over the area while others 
are confined to one or more portions. 

(3). A series which may be regarded as having been developed iu the sub- 
tropical and tropical portions of the north and especially the north-east, and 
comprising the genera Dorcopsis, Dendrolagus, Hypsiprymnodon, DistKchurus, 
Pbalnnger, ^pyprymnus and probably Petaurus.f 

(4). A series which may be regarded as having been developed in the south- 
eastern district including what is now the coastal parts of Southern Now South 
Wales, Victoria, and also Tasmania, though the latter was separated off from t)ie 
mainland before the full development of these forms. This series comprises the 
genera Acrobates, Gymnobelideus, Petauroides, Phascolarctos and Pbascolomys. 

■ It nui)' be iiot«(l wltb regud to ttala genui that whilst It la on old toim It la Dot lestilcted kn He diatrlbatlon 
to New Oulnen, W»tem Austnlia aad THiunU. but certainly occura on the msinlud. Ur, Thoiiiu. In ths BiiL 
Hiu. Cat., use. p. IM, aUtcs In a lootnole that he thlnka It likely Uwt the Bpecimena ol D. uHiootor (- D. nami) 
dwciibed by KreRt u from the uelghboiirhaod ol Sydney, hul etrapcd Iroiu captivity. During the iut low yean 
Mr. Dudley 1e Bouef hu captured D. nana at Qonibnxik In Olpjialand, and a apeclmen of the eanie apedes haa been 
ieeured by myeelf on the Blaok Spur Ran^ In Victoria and by Ur. A. Puidle o( Sale, In Olppaland, Tben la no 
rsHon to think that the« tpeclmena have neaped from captivity. 

t This genua ought perbape to be included In (he next aerlee, but III dlatiibutlDn orei the northern parta ol the 
ooaUnent and In Km Oolnea, would teem to ally It rather wilb the north^aatem than with the eouth^atem aeriei. 
It ia meet ationftly developed at (he preeent day, in the coaiUl diatricta ol New eouth Walea and Vlotoiia, but la not 
preaeat ia Taimanla (except » an Introduoed form). It waa eihlsDlly Out ol ths later developed arboroal dlproto- 
doata, M la ahown by ita abaenoe Irom Taamaula. 



In hie recently published work on the " Geographical HJBtory of Maniinak,"* 
Mr. Lydckker mlopts the more geaerally accepted theory thut the primitive 
tnarsupial fauna entered Australia by way of Eouth-enst Asia ; though he grants 
the importance of the discovery of dasyuroid marsupials in the Tertiary rocke of 
Patagonia as pointing towards the exiBtence, at some period, of a direct communi- 
cation between the south of America and Australia, and points out the importance 
of the determination by Messrs. David and Smeeth of the nature of the rocks 
brought back in the recent cruise of the " Antarctic," by Mr. Borchgrevink as 
indicating a continental area. In fact Mr. Lydekker makes the following 
important statement: — "It may be observed that it appears Impossible to 
adequately explain the presence of a Noti^feic element in the fauna of Neogna 
without the aid of some form of southern land connection ; although there is not 
sufficient evidence to show in what latitude such connection (or connections) 
existed. J , ^ 

Mr. Lydekker is of opinion that theoriginal immigration of early polyprotodont 
forms took place across what is now New Guinea and so into north-east Australia, 
and there " where they have since been isolated from any serious competition with 
the higher mammals, they flourished and developed to a degree which they could 
not possibly have attained to in Any otlier part of the world under existing con- 

At the same time Mr. Lydekker grants that the evolution of the Diprotodonts 
took place within the limits of the Australian continent and that therefore the 
CuscuseK — the most typical Papuan marsupial — are to be regarded as immigrants. 

Kow it is the Papuan region firstly and the north-east portion of Australia 
secondly, which are remarkably poor in Folyprotodonts ; such as the Papuan region 
possesses are confined to three genera, Dasyurus (one species), Perameles (six species), 
Phascologak (five species), which, it may be remarked, are the moat widely 
distributed of all the Australian Folyprotodonts and the most capable of adapting 
themselves to the arid climate of the interior, or the more genial coastal climat« 
from cool Tasmania in the south to tropical Kew Guinea in the north. On the 
supposition that New Guinea lay in the tine of migration of the primitive marsupials 
it is an inexplicable fact that here where they can and do live in small numbers, 
free from competition witli higher forms, we have still so little trace of Folyproto- 
donts and not a single form which is not widely dispersed over the continent. The 

• Cunbrhlgc Oeognqihlcil Scrlw, ISW 



poverty of Polyprotodoiit life can scarcely be attributed to their having been 
driven (luulh for which there is no reason whatever or to competition (certainly 
not with Diprotodonts, as in Australia the two groups exist in large numbers side 
by side), while it can be most naturally explained by the fact that the Papuan was 
the last and not the first land of the Australian region to be reached by the 
marsupial fauna. 

Mr. Lydekker regards the occurrence of Australian types of Kata in the 
Phillipines as of " the utmost importance in respect to Australia having received 
its mammalian fauna from southeastern Asia,"* though at the same time he 
states that they must be regarded as comparatively recent immigrants and " are 
of comparatively small size, so that it is possible that their ancestors may have 
been introduced without a direct land connection with any other part of the 
world.'' There does not appear to be of necessity any connection at all between 
the line of rodent and that of marsupial imuiigratiou ; the fact that the rodents 
have come down from the north does not appear to prove that the marsupials did, 
any more tiian it proves that the fish Galaxias is an immigrant from Asia. 

Again Mr. Lydekker says,t after referring to the alliance between Dasyuridfo 
and the Didelphyidte, "This being so, it is a fairly safe assumption that both 
families are descended from a single common ancestral stock which, apart from 
any question of a connection between Australia and South America, cnn hardly 
have originated anywhere than in the northern hemisphere, seeing that the 
Dideiphyidse are totally unknown in Notogtea," and tlien he makes the suggestion 
that the Dasyuridie and Didelphyidie were both differentiated in south-eastern 
Aiiia, whence " Representatives of the former family soon afterwards found their 
way into Australia and New Guinea, while the opossums would appear to havo 
dispersed in one direction into Europe and in the other into North America, 
eventually making their way from the latter country at a late epoch in the 
Tertiary period into South America." 

In respect to this it may be pointed out that there is as yet, as Mr. Lydekker 
himself says, no evidence of fossil Tertiary marsupials in Asia, and further, that 
even if the Dasyuridie and Didelphyida; arc supposed to have developed in that 
region, the difficulty of accounting for the non-appearance of the latter in the 
Australian region is still at least as great as, if indeed not greater than, on the 
supposition that there was a connection between South America and Australia. 



The question with regard to the external relations of tlie present faunu of the 
Australian region so far as ite affinity with that of 8outh America and Austmliu ia 
concerned may perhaps he briefly summed up somewhat as follows. The principal 
elements in the fauna, the distribution of which has to be accounted for, can be 
divided into two groups— (1) a smaller one, which is common to Polynesia, 
Australia and South America ; (3) a larger one, common only to South America 
Bud Australia. Tlie former includes forms such »s Acanthodrilua, Microphyura 
and Galaxies. The latter includes forms such as Gundlnchia, Aphritis, Haplochiton, 
Gootria, Cystiguathous frogs, and certain closely-allied South American and 
Australian Marsupials. 

It has been suggested that a land connection via Polynesia, between South 
Australia and Patagonia, would suffice to explain the distribution ; but even if we 
suppose* that " the Polynesian mammals (if they existed) were drowned out by 
submergence," in which cose one might ask what would happen to the other 
elements of the fauna such as fresh-water fish, land mollusca, earthworms and 
struthious birds, such a single connection will not suffice to explain matters. 

Any such connection via Polynesia was either with the very north-east of 
Australia or with the latter via a Papuan land ; but if we take into account the 
distribution in Australia of the two groups of animals concerned we And that the 
second and more important group is essentially, except in the case of Qystignitthous 
frogs, a group of south-eastern and Tasmanian forms, whilst neither Acanthodrilus 
nor Microphyura occur in this part, but are on the contrary essentially north and 
north-eastern forms. 

No single land connection such as the one suggested will serve to account for 
the facta of distribution and certainly not one via Polynesia. 

Assuming, as we are practically now obliged to do, some southern form of 
land connection between Australia and South America, the history of tliis may 
have been somewhat as follows. 

Perhaps in late Cretaceous times both what is now Patagonia on the one hand 
and a southern extension of Australia across Tasmania on the other hand were in 
connection with the land mass to which Mr. Forbes has given the name of 
Antarctica. At an early period and certainly before any mammalian life bad 
reached this land a southern extension of the New Zealand land area was, for a 
short time only, in connection with the same and so gained the elements in its 

• i^-iLydekker. "Geographleol Historyot MKiim»ll»,"p. 127. 



fauiia of saulhera origin. New Zealand was to the north connected directly or 
indirectly with North-eaat Australia and so passed on to these Acanthodrilus and 
Microphyum, gaining in return certain animals and plants from the Austrahan 
I'^ion. It must for example have acquired its Peripatus in some Eucb way. By 
this Antarctic laud after New Zealand hod lost its connection with it a primitive 
polyprotodont fauna passed across to Austntlia, entering the latter in the south- 
east and thence spreading gradually over the continent and giving rise therein 
to the various existing types, whilst in America the same primitive group gave 
rise to tlie Didelphyidte.* Across this land there also spread the Oystignathous 
frogs, fishes such as Qalaxias, Aphritis and Haplochit«n and amongst molluscs, 
Qund lochia. 

The only way in which it seems possible to account at once for the presence 
of forms such as ProtJiylacinus in the Patagonian Tertiary beds and the absence of 
any of the Didolphyidu in Australia is to suppose that oa the South American 
side the connection between the Antarctic land and what is now Patagonia was 
lost at a time comparatively soon after the early poly pro todonts had passed across 
and during which the Didelphyidie were being developed perhaps iu the more 
iiurlhem part of South America. The Antarctic land must however have been in 
connection with the Australian continent, perhaps it was in the former itself that 
such forms as Thylacinus were developed ; at all events the distribution of this in 
Australia points to its having entered by the south-east at a comparatively late 
period. It was confined in its distribution to the eastern and especially the south- 
east and did not spread up to the far north or across to the west. 

If, subsequently, the Antarctic land became reunited with South America, 
then this would account for the finding in the Patagonian beds of such forms us 
Prothylacinusf allied to Australian marsupials, though they apparently became 
extinct and did not spread far northwards. Before any of the typical American 
typus could pass across the Antarctic land and reach Australia the latt«r had lost 
itij connection with the former and thus there would exist the Dasyuridat in 
Australia and the Didelpbyidte in South America, and in the latter also certain 
forms closely allied to Australian types of Marsupials. 

Probably the Patagonian Csenolestes and its extinct allies stand in regard to 
their dentition, iu much the same relationship to the Polyprotodonts a£ Mr. 

■ On thia aupposMon (h« LHdclphhl type nuy be regwded tm orlglDatLiig la America aod ipmulijiff thenoe 
acrosB to Europe. 

t It ts perbspe worthy ol note that thu relative])' restricted dlstnbutloa of Tbylacinua and Ite eiUnctloa on the 
uulnluid and preservation only In TumuiU Is cuiioiul}' panUJaled by the eitlnotlon oI Its illy in Pitagonls, and 
iu reatlktion also to the south ot the eoutliieiit. 



Oldfield Thomas has suggrstod that the Pernmelidic do in respect of their 
Syndnctylous feet and nre to be regnrded as a group confined t« America and not 
genetically allied to the Austrnlian Diprotodonts. 

The remaining groups may be dealt with briefly as follows. 

Rodeniia. — The rodents, which are doubtless comparatively late immigrants 
which entered by way of the north, are represented by six genera, of which 
Hydromys with two species, Mus with twenty-seven species am widely scattered ; 
Xeroniys with one species is contincd to the north-east, Conilurus with thirteen 
species is characteristic of the interior region, scarcely being represented in the 
cast and south-east coast ; TJroniys with two species is conlined to Ihc north-e,ast 
and east coast, and Mastacomys is represented by one species living in Tasmania 
and fossil in the interior of New South Wales and also by an undetermined species 
in Central Australia. Its distribution points to its being an early introduced form 
which has largely become extinct. 

Chtlonia. — This group ia represented by two genera, Emydura (Chelymys) 
and Chelodina. The former contains three species, of which one, E. niacquaria, is 
limited to the rivers of the interior and does not occur in the east or south-east 
coastal rivers, while two others, E. krefftn and E. latisUrnum, occur in the nortli- 
east only. The second genus is also represented by three specie^ of which 
Chelodina JongUollii occurs on both sides of the Dividing Range, while C. expansa 
is a Queensland and C oblong a western and northern form. 

Crocodilia. — This group is represented by two species, Crocodilus porosui and 
C. joknslonii. The former is a widely distributed species, the latter is confined to 
Australia and both are characteristic of the north and north-enst, to which they 
are now confined, whilst the extinct form Palimnarchus pollens is found fossil in 
the Lake Eyre district. 

Avti. — The most important points in the distribution of birds in Australia so 
far OS the subdivision of the continent into fauna! areas ia concerned are the 
following: The Megapodiida; or mound birds are represented by three genera, Tale- 
galla, Megapodiua and Leipua. Of these the first two are distinctly north-eastern 
forms, not spreading into the interior or to the south, whilst the single species of 
tiie third (£. octllata) ia as distinctively a central form spreading right across from 
the internal parte of New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia to West 



Australia, but not passing across the Dividing RHiige into the soutli-east or across 
to Tasmania. The family has evidently come down from the north-east and one 
species has been modified in accordance with the dry, arid nature of tho interior, 
the others being characteristic of tlie dense, fertile scrubs of the north-east. 

The family Paradiseidee is one, the members of which evidently wandered in 
from their home in the Papuan land and are now especially characteristic of the 
north and north-east. One species of Bower bird {Chlamydadera nuchalh) has 
passed across to the west and another {C. guflala) has accustomed iteelf to the dry 

Just as with the Megapodiidie and Paradiseidte the north-east is the central 
home of the existing struthious birds, though fossil remains in the internal area 
show that the same period which was characterised by the development of the 
large Diprotodonts was also tho age of large struthious birds now extinct. At the 
present day the north-east has both Dromaius and Casuarius, while Dromaius is 
spread over the east of tho continent with one species, D. irroralus, characteristic 
of the western and perhaps north-western side. 

The interior and west is mainly distinguished by the absence of many genera 
confined to the eastern and south-easteni coastal districts, amongst which one of 
the most prominent is the lyre bird (Menura) which does not extend far north 
into Queensland, and with its three species may be regarded as belonging especially 
to the south-eastern fauna. As absentees from the large western area may also be 
noted genera such Dacelo, which is in the main a northern form, out of the five 
species only one coming as far south as Victoria, Alcyone, CistUoia, Poephtla, 
Geocichia, Philemon, PliUnopus, etc.; other genera such as Podargus which is in the 
main an eastern and northern one, Grauea/uSy Collyriocincia, Gerygone, Seruornis, 
Zoslerops, being but poorly represented. 

Tho genus Amaurodryas is confined to the south-eastern comer of the 
continent, including Tasmania, while other genera such as Amytis and Acanthiza 
range widely over the interior, east and south but do not extend into the north- 

Lacerlilia. — In regard to lAcertilia it is possible that some of the Australian 
genera were modified during the early time when the west and east were separated. 
At the present day there are twenty-two genera endemic in Australia, and thirteen 
exotic to Australia. Amongst the latter Gymnodadylus is widely distributed over 
the world, Pkyllvdactylus occurs in Tropical America, Africa and the Mediterranean 



islands, Varanus occurs in the Molluccas, Celebes, New Guinea, Polynesia, Africa 
and South Asia, Lygosoma { = Ly!'osoma + Hinulia-i-Eriioa + Siaphos + Rhodoaa of 
various authors) occurs in Australia, East Indies, China, Tropical and South 
Africa, Abltpharus in South and West Asia, South-east Europe, Tropical and 
South Africa, 

A second series occur less widely distributed, but in such parts that they may 
be regarded as having eatere<l the continent from the north. These are — Ceramo- 
daclylus found in Arabia and Persia ; Tftecadadyhis in the East Indies, Gthyra in 
the islands of the Indian and Pacific Oceans and on the west coast of Mexico, 
Lepidodactylus in the East Indies and Polynesia, Gonyocephalus in the East Indies 
etc., Nicobar, and Andaman Islands, Pkysignalhus in Polynesia, Siam and Cochin 
China, Tiliqua in Australasia and the Indo-Malayan Islands. Lastly, of exotic 
genera there remains Ebenavta, previously known only frotn Madagascar and 
closely allied to Phyllodactylus, from which it differs in the absence of claws on 
the dijfits. At the present day Phyllodactylua, ns a modification of which 
Ehenavia may be regarded, occurs in Western Australia, and it is at any rate 
possible that the Central Australian Ebenavia and the Madagascar forms are 
independent modifications of a widely-spread type. 

Ail tlie species of the genera are endemic in the Australian regions except 
Ahkpkarus bouionii, which is " irregularly distributed over the hotter parts of 
both hemispheres."— (Brit. Mua. Cat., Vol. IV., p. 346). 

The endemic genera may be divided into three main groups : — 

1. A northern and north-eastern group (or if not confined to this area most 
largely represented therein) represented by Rhyncadura, Heleronola, (Ediira, 

Chta iiiydositurus, Hemisphariodon. 

2. A western, central and southern group, represented by Diplodaelyltis, 
Nephmrus, Amphibolurus, Moloch, Tynipanocryptis, Opkidtocepkalus, Ckelosauria. 

3. A series of widely-spread genera represented by Pygopus, Delma, Lialis, 
Egernia, Trachysaurus. 

Amongst the first of the groups it is noticeable that there has been a certain 
amount of passage from the north across the north-west and so to the west and 
vice versa, whilst certain genera, such as Amphibolurus, are in the main charac- 
teristic of one region, though they have certain species, such as in that genus A. 
barbiUus, widely distributed over the continent. 



The lizards of tho south-east part of the contiaeiit do not form in any way a 
distinctive group and arc represented partly by forma widely distributed over the 
wliole continent, partly by enstem coostnl species, partly by western and southern, 
but with the exception of FhysignaChus, they do not contain a representative of 
the distinctly northern group. 

Tnken altogether Australia does not show any marked affinity in the matter 
of lizards with any other region, ita exotic genera having probably entered by the 
north-east and there is little or no affinity with South America. Speaking of the 
distribution of lizards Walliice says,* " or) tho whole the distribution of the Lacer- 
tilia shows a remarkable amount of specialization in each of the great tropical 
regions, whence we may infer that Southern Asia, Tropical Africa, Australia and 
South America each obtained their original stock of this order at very remote 
periods, and that there has since been very little intercommunication between 
them." The absence of any marked affinity between Australia and other regions 
in the Lacertilian fauna stands in marked contrast to that of other orders, but in 
connection with this it may be pointed out that the climate of any Antarctic land 
connection, though temperate enough to suit mammals, may not have been favour- 
able to the migration of such heat-loving creatures as lizards. It may indeed be 
said that we find an alliance existing between Australia and South America 
aniongst the groups in the case of which we might have expected to do so if that 
alliance be due to a connection across a moderately cool Antarctic land. 

Amphibia. — In the Amphibia one family, the Gystignathidte, is common to 
Australia and South America. Out of fifteen genera no fewer than twelve are 
endemic. Rana ia represented by one species in the Cape York peninsula, and this 
genus together with Hyla may be regarded as an immigrant from the north. The 
stronghold of the endemic genera is undoubtedly the eastern and south-eastern 
coastal district and though some of the more widely dispersed species may perhaps 
represent forms once more widely distributed but now separated by the gradual 
desiccation of the interior, others doubtlessly owe their wide dispersal to the 
remarkable power which they possess of accommodating themselves by burrowing 
and storing up water to districts which they can only traverse during irr^fularly 
recurring rainy seasons. 

Piscts. — Amongst fresh-water fishes the more important forms are : — 

(1). Geratodus, the remnant of a more widely dispersed form, now confined to 
the Mary and Burnet Rivera in Queensland, though fossil remains found in the 



Like Eyre district show that it wns formerly more widely scattered over the 

{2). Ostcoglossum, a genus represented in tropical Australin and South 

(3). A series allowing a strong Affinity with South America and confined in 
Australia to the south-eastern part of the continent and Tasmania (not passing or 
scarcely at all north of the Dividing Range in Victoria) and including Huptochiton, 
Aphritis and the species of Galaxias, and amongst Cyclostomata, Geotria. 

So far as the distribution of fonaa in the Australian region is concerned the 
most important point is the clear demarcation of a south-eastern series from an 
interior scries* which is especially characteristic of the Murray River system. The 
former includes Lates Microperca, Aphritis, Haplochiton, Prototroctcs, Galaxias, 
Aganostoma, Cja<lopsis, and amongst Cyclostomata tiaotria and Mordacia. The 
Utter includes Oligorus, Thorapon, Murrayiu, Ctenolatos, Chatoessus, Copidoglanis. 

Vermes. — {a) Oligochala.\ Amongst Earthworms three families are represented 
in Australia, viz., Forichtctidie, Gryptodrilidie and Acanthodrilidic At present 
our knowledge with regard to the Earthworm fauna is limited almost entirely to 
the eastern side of the continent, though we may feel sure that it will be found to 
bo much more abundant here than in the drier west. 

Certain forma of Lumbricidie are very common (Allolobophora and Allurus), 
but as their range is restricted to the neighbourhood of settlement, in which they 
have almost completely ousted the indigenous fauna, they may safely be regarded 
ns introduced forms. 

On the eastern side the following are the more important points in r^ard to 
distribution : — 

AcanthodriluB is entirely confined to the north, not reaching further south 
than Queensland and having one species, doubtless derived from the north-east, in 
the Centre. True Perichoetes are also confined fo the north. 

Diporochteta is represented by two species in North Queensland, but is other- 
wise restricted to the soutlieast (six species). Fletcherodrilus has one species in 
Queensland and one in New South Wales. 

• Dcliillg with regani to thi« are Kivin In n pspCT by Ml. A. H. S. Lucu "On the VertehnUe Fauiu ol Victoiio." 
rend hetanj the Kojol Societj- of Vietorln, in July, 1890, and now in courec of puhllention in Proc. 11.8. Vict, voi. In.; 
iind alao in the PTolilcatlal Aildms ot Che author to the Bloioiry Section ol tlie AiutnU^iui AiaoctUion. Uatiut, 
ISO!, " On the Fauna and Zoologteol Relationahlpt ot TiuniBnla." 

t The tlawdOcation lollowed is that Riven bj- Deddnrd in his Monogrmph ol the order Oliirochnta, 1896. 



The more southern portion of the coastttl district is chamcteriscd by the 
presence of Cryptodrilus, Digftster, Megascolides (the stronRhold of which is 
Victoria), Trinephrus, whilst Mcgnscolex iind Diporochreta are most lai^ly 
(levelnped here, though to a ccrtJiiii extent they spread northwards. 

Victoria together with Tasninnia, constnl New South Wales ftiid Queensland, 
may be regarded at present as possessing three groups of Earthwornis, the 
Queensland and northern fauna being marked off from the other two by tho 
presence of Acanthodrilus and true Perichieta and the entire alisenco of Megasco- 
lides and to a very marked degree of Megascolex, Diporochieta and Cryptodrilus. 

(/') Turbellaria. — At the present time, though a considerable nuinlwr of land 
planarians have been described, it is scarcely possible to say anything very dclinit« 
with regard to their distribution in lack of any knowledge of their occurrence over 
the whole of the west and north-west and to a very largo extent the north-east of 
the continent Ucoplana is widely distributed over Tasmania, New South Wales, 
and Queensland and extenils across to Nuw Zealand. In regard to the species 
present in the latter Dr. Deiidy,* to whom we arc indebted for the gi-eatcr part of 
our information relative to the Austriilasian forms other than those of New South 
Wales, which have been described by Messrs. Fletcher and Hamilton, says: "T 
find that few of these {twenty species) can with safety be absolutely identified with 
Australian species, yet in several cases the differences are extremely slight and not 
such liS would, in my opinion, juFstify a spcciSc distinction if the varieties were 
found together." The genus Khynchodemus so far as at present known is present 
in Australia in Victoria, increases in number in New South Wales and is recoi'ded 
also from Queensland, but only doubtfully from New Zealand, while Cotyloplaiia 
is only known from Lord Howe Island. 

On the continent the genus Geoplana is the dominant one, but in curious 
contrast to the cl^se similarity of certain species of New Zealand and Victoria 
those of the latter and New South Wales seem, with the exception of a very small 
proportion, to be distinct. 

{<■) Nemertinta. — So far as at present knowik the only Australian species are 
Geonemeriti australiensis and G. nova-huUaiidia. On the continent the fornter is 
OS yet known only from the eastern and south-eastern part, including New South 
Wales, Victoria and Tasmania. 

In the three latter groups, viz., Oligochcetn, Turbellaria and Nemertinca, the 
fauna of the eastern coastal district stands as might have been expected in strong 
contrast to that of the extensive hut dry internal area of the continent. 

• Auit, A«. Ad>'. Sol., Brlibtmc. voL vi. \m>, p. US. 



Crustacea. — Amongst land and fresh-water forms the more important are the 
following : — Lepidurus is found in the eastern coastal district from New South 
Wales through Victoria to Tasmania and reaches westwards into the caistnl parts 
of South Australia. The internal area of the continent, from the inland parts of 
Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria on the east side right across to West 
Australia, is characterised by the absence of Lepidurus and the presence of Apus. 

Amongst Brachyura the land crab Telphusa transversa is a north-eastern form 
which has spread across to the Ceiitrf, Amongst the Macrura one form {Aitacopsis 
bicarittattts') extends over practically the whole of the continent, occurring right in 
the Centre and all along the eastern and south-eastern coast from Queensland to 
Victoria. Tasmania is distinguished by the presence of distinct species (A. 
franklinii), but the most important fact is the presence of a genus of burrowing 
land crayfish, Engteus, confined to and characteristic of the south-east and 
Tasmania, and not even extending so far north along the east coast as New South 

Mollusca, — In the land and freshwater mollusca we c;in distinguish (I) a 
north-eastern or Queensland group. With regard to this Mr. Cooke' says, "The 
strip of coast-liiie from Cape York to the Clarence River stands apart from the 
rest of Australia, and is closely connected with New Guinea. There can be little 
doubt that ia has been colonised from the latter country, since an elevation of oven 
t-en fathoms would create a wide bridge between the two. Many of the genera 
are quite strange to the rest of Australia." In this area the more important 
genera are Hniira, which hero reaches its moxium, Rhytida, Chhritis, Planhpira, 
Panda, Tfursites, Sienogyra, amongst slugs Janella and amongst fresh-water forms 

It is from this regi<m that the species of Hndra, Chhritii, Planispira, Tkersiles, 
Stenegyra and the ancestors of Isidorella must have passed across to the centre 
where they have since been isolated. This would appear to show that the 
Rhytididfc, which are now established in the north and of which, as Mr. Hedley 
says, " originating in Antarctica," one group ''established itself in Tasmania and 
marched in force to Cape York and even crossed to Mount Owen Stanley in New 
Guinea," had not reached far enough north in time to allow them to pass acroRS 
to the centre. 

(2). A restricted West Australian group represented by species of Liparus, 
Pupa, Sumnea, and the group R/iagada amongst Helices. 

p. 32S. TtH Inlonnalion with rcfninl to the dlBtrlbutlon 



(3). A series tielonging to eastern and south-eastern Australia and Tasinani.1. 
Our knowledge of Victorian land molluaca is at present unfortunately very 
imperfect, but as in other groups a fuller knowledge will doubtless reveal a more 
or less close alliance between those of southern Victoria and Tasmania. 

In this area the species of Hadra diminish from the north to the south, none 
being known in Tiismania ; Cysiopelta, Caryodes, and .Helicarion are common to 
tlie mainland and Tasmania, while the slug Aneitea grafffei is common to Now 
South Wales and Queensland. The last operculate, a Helicina, is found in the 
north of New 8outh Wales none being present in Tasmania, so that the true south- 
eastern part of tlie continent is devoid of these. 

Faunal Divisions of the Australian Region. 

In his "Geographical History of Mammals," Mr. Lydckkcr has adopted the 
name Nott^icic Realm to include the Australian, Polynesian, Hawaiian and 
Austro-Malaynn Regions. The Australian Region includes Australia, Tasmania, 
New Guinea, and the adjacent Papuan Islands. 

So far as the distribution of animals and plants is concerned, in regard to 
the Australian region, we have to deal with a series of events which may bo 
briefly summed up as follows : — 

(1). A division in late Cretaceous tinies of the land area into nn eastern and 
a western portion. 

(3). A union of these two divisions and the final formation, at all events in 
the southern-central part of the continent of a great lacustrine area accompanied 
by more or less pluvial conditions, and resulting during Tei-tiary times in the 
existence of a vast internal area, of which Lake Eyre may bo regarded as the 
centre, suitable for the development of animal life. 

(3). During this period the eastern and south-eastern coastal range, then 
probably of muuh greater height than at present, formed a liarrier between {a) the 
eastern coastal lands, and {b) those of the interior and west. 

(4). A land connection (a) across Torres Straits with a Papuan area and 
cither directly or indirectly with the Polynesian r^on, and {i) one across Tasmania 
stretching southwards to an Antarctic land and so allowing ol communication with 
the Nicogeic Realm (South America). 

(5). The obliteration of these two land connections and the linal isolation of 
the Australian continent. 


lUHARV. 197 

(6), A gradual tliyiiiy up of the iutorior, the physictj barriur ot tlio uoastiil 
ranjros bein^ purlly replaced, partly iiitensified, by a climutic barrier depetulent 
upon tbe dryncsti of tlie iuterior >uid the humidity of the uoastal region. 

The result of these series of events was the division of the continent into two 

(I). A northern, cnstern and south-eastern coastal land coinciding in this 
part with the present rainfall limit of 25-50 ini;]ies per annum. 

(2). A large central, western and southern area comprising the rest of 
the continent. 

Uwing, ill the first instance, to the northern connection with Papua (and also 
Polynesia) and to its southern connection with an Antarctic land and, U) a lessor 
extent, to differences in temperature, the first of these areait contains two well- 
marked faunas. 

(a) A north and north-ettstern. 
{l>) A south-eastern and south. 

The north-eastern area may be regarded as closely united with Papua and we 
con thus at the present time divide the Australian Region into three sub-regions 
which may be distinguished as follows : — 

(1). The Torresian ^ub-region. This includes Papua and north and north- 
eastern Australia as far south as tbe Clarence River. On its north -western side 
it merges as might be expected to a certain extent into the western area. It is 
characterised by such forms as Proechidna, Dorcopsis, Dendrolagus, Hypsiprym- 
nodoii, Phalanger and Disttechurus ; Xeromys amongst Rodents ; Oosuarius, 
Megapodius, Talegalla, and the Parodiseidte amongst birds ; Rhyncoedura, Oedura 
and Phyaignathus amongst lizards ; Crocodilus amongst Reptilia ; Rana amongst 
Amphibia ; Ceratodus and Osteogtossum amongst fishes ; Acantliodrilus and 
true Perichtetes amongst earthworms ; Microphyura, Hadra, CIdoritis, Janella, 
Isidora, etc., amongst land and fresh -water. moUusca. 

The name Papuan has already been suggested by Mr. liedley for this sub- 
i-cgioD but the name Toiresian is here suggested both as being less liable to lead 
to confusion and as suggestive of tbe position of the old land connection which 
gave rise to the faunal affinity of its now separated northern and southern parts. 

(2). The Bassian sub-region. This includes the eastern and south-eastern 
coastal strip, lying between the coast line and the Dividing Range south of the 



Clar«Dce River, and also Taiiinaniik. On the malnUnd it naturally merges to a 
certain extent, where the Dividing Ranges falls away at its western end, with the 
fauna of the interior but in the main it is strikingly dissiinilHr to this. 

It is characterised by such forms as Acrobat«s, Gymnobelideus, Fetauroides, 
PhascolarctoB, Phascolomys, Thylacinus and SarcopLilus (the two latter now con- 
fined to Tasmania) amongst mammals ; Amaurodryas amongst birds ; Myxophyes, 
Philocryphus, Phaiierotis and the strong development of Lynmodynaates amongst 
Amphibia; Lates, Slicroperca, Uirella, Aphritis, Agonostoma, Gadopsls, Proto- 
troctes, Galaxios, Mordaciu, Geotria amongst fishes ; Gundlachla, Cystopelta, 
Helicarion amotigat Molluscs ; Diporochteta, Cryptudrilus, Digaster, Megascolex 
and Megosculides amongst Earthworms. The most important feature of the fauna 
is the South American affinity. 

The name is adopted from that of Bass Strait, across which, when uplifted, 
the South American contingent must have passed. 

(3). The Eyroan sub-region. This includes the whole of the interior, southern 
and western part of the continent, the coastal ranges on the east and south-east 
separating it from the Torresian sub-region in the north.east and the Bassian 
r^on in the south-east. 

It is characterised by such fornia as Myrmecobius, Not«ryctes, Dasyuroides, 
Antechinomys, Pttrogale, Onychogole, Lagorchestes, Caloprymaus, Lagostrophus, 
Tarsipes amongst Marsupialia; Conilurus (Hapalotie) amongst Rodents; Megadorma 
amongst Bats; Leipoa amongst Birds; Biplodactylus, Nephrurus, Amphiholurus 
(most largely), Moloch, Tympanocryptis, Ophidiocephalus, Cbelosauria amongst 
Lizards; Emydura amongst Chelonians ; Myobatrachus amongst Amphibia; Oli- 
gorus, Ctenolates, Murrayia, Copidoglanis, Plotosus amongst Fishes; ApuB, 
Eulimnadia and the most distinctive types of Esthcria and LimnadopsLs amongst 
Crustacea ; Liparus and the Rhagada group of Helices amongst Molluscs. 

The name Eyrean is suggested for this region in couseiiuence of the fact that 
Lake Eyre is to be regarded as the centre of the great internal Lacustrine region, 
which was closely associated with the former development of the now extinct series 
of gigantic Diprotodont and Struthious forms, which during Pliocene times formed 
perhaps the most distinctive fauna of the continent, whilst it was probably in the 
area centering around Lake Eyre and during the period of its gradual desiccation 
that the present fauna of the interior of the continent was developed. 

These three faunal sub-regions are indicated on the accompanying map. 







TO -me 



HYMENOPTERA. By W. F. Kmuv, F.L.S., F.E.S., AssisUut in the 
Zoolo^icu! DepRrtmuiit, ItriLtsh Musouni {Niitural History) - 


(a) Mars u PI A LI A. 
'(6) Lacertilia. 




By W. F. KIRBY, F.L.S., F.E.S., Assistant in the Zoological Department, 
British Museum (Natural History). 

TLe collection submitted to me consisted of a nuraber of specimens preserved 
ilk spirits mid cootninitd in small pliialB, u large proportion of the specimens being 
FormUidx (ants). It should, however, be puiuted out that, although spirit is a 
convenient method for i;ollecting specimens, it is undesirable to employ it for any 
insects except hard-shelled beetles or bugs ; for the exposed wings of insects are 
very liable to get torn in it, and the hair of bees, etc., gets matted together and 

With the exception of a few specimens, which were too much damaged for 
identification, a full list of the species obtained is given below. Altogether 
twenty-eight species of tlymenoptira aculeaia are here enumerated, of which six 
appear to be new to science. 




1. Camponotus schencki. 
Camponotus iduncki, Mayr, Verb. Zool. Bot. Oes. Wien, XII., p. 674 (m62). 
Paisley Bluff (one specimen). 

2. Camponotus impavidus. 

Camponotus impavidus, I'orel., Ann. Soc. Ent, Belg. XXXVIII., p. 4,'i5 

McDonnell Bange, under stones on hill-side (several specimens). 

3. Camponotus arauatus. 

Camponotus arcualus, Mayr, Joum. Mus. Godeffroy, IV. (Heft 12), p. 8 

Hugh Creek, McDonnell Range, July 11, 1894. 

Two specimens, apparently belonging to this rare species. 



4. Camponotus retlculatus, sp.n. 
Length. — Liu^c worker, 9 mm. ; sniall worker, G lam. 

Large worker. — Dark pjtcliy-brown, iaclining to rufoteslaceous ; umiidibles 
feiTu^iious, ontennte, tarsi, and under surface of legs reddish ; alxlonien witb a 
whit« stripe on each side intersecting the white incisions ; mandibles about twice 
as long as broad at the base, gi-adually curved, pointed at the tip, and armed with 
six large teeth, in addition to the long terminal tooth ', clypeua carinated, about 
OS broad as long, the sides subrutund, the upper and lower extremities concave. 
Outer antennat ridges slightly waved, but diverging above, and neither these nor 
the central one attain the suumiit of the vortex. Head very convex behind, 
thorax sloping, gradually narrowed behind ; thorax and abdomen sparsely clothed 
with thick, raised hairs. Antenure and legs clothed with short hair; legs mode- 
rately long and slender, with a very strong, pale, teruiiiial spine on the tibia. 
Petiole large, conical, sloping slightly forwards. 

The small workers are nearly black, with the scape of the autennce and the 
tarsi rufotestaceous, and the incisions of the abdomen pale. 

Paisley BluiT, burrow-nest under stones, many specimens ; also Palm Crock 
and Finkc Gorge. 

I cannot make this conspicuous species agree with any of the specinieiks or 
descriptions before me, though it somewhat resembles C. lestaceipes, Sniitt. It is 
possibly a honey ant, but the carinated clypeus is alone sufficient to &cpanit« it 
from C. inflatuSy Lubbock. 

5. Camponotus novee-hol land lee. 

Camponotus nova-hoUandia, Muyr, Verb. Zool. Bot. Ges. Wien, XX., p. 939 

McDonuell Range ; Falm Creek ; Paisley Bluff. 

Forms burrows under stones on hill-sides ; sometimes found solitary. 

Many specimens, a variable species; some of the small workers are wholly 
pale yellow - the large workers have black heads, and their abdomen is reddish- 
brown with pale incisions, and the under-surface pale. 

6. Camponotus denticulatus, sp.n. 

Worker. — Length, 9 mm. DIack, theantnnnic, mandibles, and adjacent part 
of the face, as well as the thorax and legs, more or less ferruginous ; head, body 



and legs with oblique, shorb, white bristles ; nlxloincn with n. Gnn, silky pubescence 
in addition. Hoitd lonj;, niandiUea with six riither oblique t«cth, the first smnll, 
nnd of nearly equal size; the last iipicals are much larger. Glypcus only slightly 
carinated ; antcnnni ridges strongly marked ; thorax gradually sloping, somewhat 
narrower behind ; petiole rounded above, legs long. 

McDonnell Range. Ant from mound-ncst with a slit opening nt the top. 
Burrows underground. Several specimens, A considerably smaller specimen from 
Paisley Bluff may also belong to this species. 

Appears to be related to C. nova-kollandia, Mayr. 

7. Camponotus horni, sp.n. 

Worker. — Length, 9 mm. Rufous, with a slight purplish suffusion, legs and 
petiole purplish above, abdomen with purple and coppery reflections, tarsi rufous. 
Head smooth, rounded, short; clypeus short, not carinated ; antennal ridges not 
strongly marked, but with a thiid between them. Scape of antenna; with short, 
raised bristles. The hairs on the hrnd and body short and erect; those on the 
legs oblique. Mesothorax much depressed ; prothorax and metathurax much 
rounded above. 

Femalti. — Length 13 lines. Black, shining, with short white bristles, antennro 
rufous, legs entirety testaceous, the tibia and tarsi a little darker than the coxie 
and femora. Wings smoky hyaline, the fore wings with the crossing narrower, 
united for a short space at their point of junction. 

Palm Creek. 

Burrow-nest under stones. Several specimens. The peculiar structure of 
this speciefl will probably ultimately necessitate its removal to another genus ; but 
the rufous Ixxly and purple abdomen will render it easily reeognisable. 

8. Hoplomyrmus micans. 

Polyrhackis micam, Mayr., Journ. Mus., OodefTroy, IV. (Heft 12), p. 21 (1876). 

Storm Creek (four specimens). 

As the name Polyrhachis is preoccupied, I prefer to use Hophmynntis, Gerst., 
for this genus. 



9. Hypoclinea flavipes, sp.n. 

Worker. — Length, 2 min. Blnck, very closely iiml finely punctured, the largr 
mctanotuiii endiiiy in an oppii crescent, with moderately long, diverging horns; 
llie central riiign also ends in a projection; scale very long, rounded, and flattened; 
tarsi and more or less of the mouth-parts and untennte yellow and teataueous. 

Anta from Porcupine Grass {TYiodia pungens) Tempe Downs, 

A very small but well-marked species, apparently resembling the much larger 
H. scabrida, Roger, in colour. 

10. Bothpoponera denticulata, Bp.n. 

Worker. — Length, 12 mm. Black, pubescent, the mandibles, the extreme tip 
of the antennie, the under-surface of the legs, and the incisions of the abdomen 
more or less rufous. Head and thorax very closely and irregularly rugose and 
granulated, the pronotum and petiole showing a tendency towards longitudinal 
striation, head with two strong ridges between the antennie, and the occiput 
somewhat concave. Antennn pubescent, rather stout. Mandibles broad, strongly 
punctured, sub-triangular, with nine teeth, the second, fourth and sixth smaller 
than the others; the three last broad, and successively increasing in length; the 
seventh and eighth with a short notch on the inside at the base. On the other side 
there are only eight teeth, and the small notches are not visible. The face is set 
with long yellowish bristles, and the mandibles are also bordered with sntaller 
bristles, of which there is a row above the teeth, which sometimes renders their 
examination difficult. Tibia with several terminal spines, the last serrated, tarsi 
set with numerous short spines, as well as hairs. Petiole longitudinally ridged, 
the ridges terminating in strong teeth behind ; the middle one is slenderer and 
rather longer than the others, of which there are about four on each side. 

Blood Creek, several specimens. Allied to the Indian B. rufipes, Jerdon. 

11. Myfmecia nigriceps. 
Myrmecia nigriceps, Mayr., Verb. Zool. Bot. Ges. Wien, XTV., pp. 725-728 

Reedy Hole, Bagot Creek, Alice Springs (one specimen from each); Ayers 
Rock and Illamurta (several specimens from each). 




12. Pheidole longiceps. 

Pheidole tongi<tps, Mayr., Joom. Mus. Godeffroy, TV. (Heft 12), p. 51 (1876). 
Fftislry Bluff, in burrow-ncst under atones. 

13. Mutilla pugicollis. 
Mutilla nigiwllis, Westw., Arcana Entomologies, II., p. 17, Plate 53, Fig. 5 

Tempe Downs (one specimen), 

14. ThynnuB ochrocephalus. 
Tkynniii ochrofephalus. Smith, Trans. Ent. Soc. Lond., 1868, p. 231. 

Camp, Illatnurta (one specimen). A very fine, and apparently rather scarce 

15. Thynnus obscurus. 
Thynnut obseunis, Klug., Abhand. Akad., Berlin, 1842, p. 22, Fig. 4. 
Pnlm Creek (one specimen). 

16. Thynnus carbonarius. 
Thynnus {Thynnoidts) carbonarim, Smith, Cat Hym. Ins. B.M., VII., p. 23 
n. 51 (1859). 

One specimen, without locality. 

17. Rhaglgastep lllustHs, Bp.n. 

Male. — Length, 11 mm. Black, legs and apex of the abdomen red, mouth- 
parts mostly palo yellow ; prothorax narrowly bordered with pale yellow before 
and behind ; middle of the scutellum and hind border of the post-scutellum palo 
yellow, and five palo yellow spots on each side of the black part of the abdomen 
above, the first linear, the others slightly indented on the outer part of the front 



Crown Point (one ditiiingi>d specimen). 

Differs from R. kicmorrhoidalis, Uuer., in the pule yellow (inclining to ivory 
whito) markings on the niHlomen. 


18. Scolia Iseviceps- 

Scalui laviceps, Kirhy, Trans. Eut. See. London, 1889, p. 447. 
Admiiigrt Creek (one specimen). 

19. Campsomepis radula. 

Tiphia radula, Fulir., Syat Ent, p. 354, n. 5 (1775). 

Alice Springs (thrw specimens); George Gill Range (two specimens). 


20. Bembex raptor. 
Bembex raptor. Smith, Cat, Hym. Ins. B.M., IV., p. 32C, n. 40 (185G). 
Crown Point (one specimen). 

21. Pompilus mono. 
Sphex morio, I'liltr., Syst Ent., p. 349, n, 10 (1775). 
Storm Creek (ono specimen). 

22. Pompilus semJIuctuosus. 

Pompilus semiluctmsus. Smith, Cat. Hym. Ins. RM., Ill, p. 166, n. 234 


Rudall Creek, Itange (one specimen). 

23. Agenia fusiformis. 
Agenia Jusiformis, Stiuss, Reise dcr Novfira, Hymenoptera, p. 53 (1867). 
Opossnm Creek (three specimens) ; Darwent Creek (one specimen). 



24. Sphex canescens. 
Sfhtx cantscem, Smitli, Cat. Hym. Tna. B.M., IV., p. 246, n, 37 (IR5fi). 
Crown Point (one Bpecimen). 

25. Sphex luctuosa. 

Sphix Jucluosa, Smith, Cat. Hym. Tns. B.M., IV,, p. 250, n. 47 (1856). 

Alice Springs (two specimens) ; Dalhouaic (one specimen). 

The Spkegida in the collection are injured liy spirit, rendoring their identifi- 
cation somewhat uncertain. 



26. Eumenes latPeiMei. 

Eumenes LatreiUei, Snusa., Mon. Gufepes Sol., p. 51, Plate 10, Fig. 5 (1852). 

Alice Springs (many specimens); near IdracowrA (one specimen); lllnmurta 
(one specimen). 

27. Abispa ephippium. 

Vespa ephippium, Fabr., Syst. Ent., p. 362, n. 2 (1775). 

Bftgot Creek (one specimen). A slight variety, differing from the type in 
having the thorax almost entirely red, instead of black. 

28. Odynerus sanguinolartus. 
Odynerui sanguinolartus, Sauss, Mon. Gu^pcs, Sol., Suppl., p. 221 (1854). 
Dnrwent Creek (one specimen). 



The following additional species have been received since the publication of 
tho Zoological Report (Part II.) and are included in the table giving the summary 
of results (Part I., p. UO) :— 


1. Dasyupus geoffW}yi, Ooulcl. 
Locality. — Crown Point and Alice Springs. 

2. Perameles obesuia, Sbaw 
Locality. — Alice Springs. 

3. Perameles eremiana,* Spencer. 
Locality. — Charlotte Waters. 

4. Pepagale minor,* Spencer. 
Locality. — Charlotte Waters. 

1. Typhlops polygram micus, Schlcgel. 
Locality. — Alice Springs and Charlotte Waters. 

1. Ceramodactylus daoiseus, L. and F. 
Z<vfl/;V)'.— Several specimens have been received from the Centre and one 
from Mr. Dudley le Souef, collected by him in North Queensland. 

2. Diplodactylus tesselatue, Oiinth. 
Locality. — Charlotte Waters. 



3. Diplodactylus byr>nei, L. nnd F. 

Locality. — Charlotte Waters. 

4. DIplodactylus conspicillatus,* L. and F. 
Locality. — Churlotte Waters. 

5. CEdura tyroni, De Vis. 
Locality. — Alice Springs. 

€. CEdura marmorata, Gray. 
Locality. — Alice Springe. 

7. Ophidiocephalus tseniatus,* L. and F. 
Locality. — Charlotte Waters. 

8. Ablepharus greyi, Gray. 
Lociility. — Alice Springs. 

9. Ablepharus elegans, Gray. 
Locality. — Alice Springs. 

One specinien, which agrees with the type except that there are eighteen 
longitudinal rows of scales, six supraciliaries and all the dorsal scales liavc a 
central black dot 

■ DMralhHl In Proo. R.S, Vld. (New Beri»), vol. Ix. 




Abhpa ephippium, 209. 

Ablephann greyi, 117, 211, burtoni, 117, 
ruficaudiUus, red tail of, 26, tiegans, 

Aborigines, see Niitives. 

Aeadit aneura, 13, 122, 126, 161, cyptro- 
phylla, 13, 16, 161, homalopkylla, 13, 
23, 161, Jarnesiana, 15, uiicina, 28, 
salUina, 44, 46, 93, variittions in form 
of, 121, diclyophUba, 99. 

Aeanlhodrihts, 180, 187, 193, eremius, 63. 

Aainlhopkis anlantUit, deaf adder, 42. 

Adinoceras talei, 166, 

Adaptation of plants to climatti, 15. 

Aditiinga Creek, 22. 

jEgialitis nigri/rons, 16. 

.^stivntion of Frogs, Snails, etc., 21. 

Agmia fiisi/ormis, 208. 

Alberga Hiver, 15. 

Alexandra, Princess, Parakeet, 100, habits 
and sporadic appearance of, 101. 

Alice Springs, 130, et seqq. 

Alpita, tails of Perixgale lagoUsy 92. 

Aniodeaa basin, 74. 

Ainadeuii Lake, 74, crossing and camp at, 
83, 95. 

Amaurodr^us, 190. 

Awera, or spear- bli rower, 38. 

Amphibia, 18, remarks on colouration of, 
26, rate of growth of, 19, of Central 
Australia, 149, distribution in Aus- 
tralia, 192. 

Ainpliibolurus, ISO. 

Aniphibolurus pieius, colouration of in 
relation to protection, 25, Aniphi- 
bolurus reticulatus, 109, 47. 

Amphibolurus mitailatus, difference in 
colouration in male and female, 2.5. 

Amphiboiurus batbatus, 28, 41. 

Ancylus austraikus, 97. 

Aueitea, 196. 

Angasella argicerens, 109. 

Antarctica, 187. 

Antarctic land, connection between Aus- 
tralia and America, 180, 188. 

Antechinomys, habits of, 76, scarcity of, 

Antiarro, a ceremonial stono of the Na- 
tives, 58, 
Ants, 24, Porcupine grasa ants, habits of, 

69-71, ant nests, 126. 
Ant lions, crater and tracks i>f, 29. 
Aphritis, 181, 193. 
Apus, 18, 20, 154, 195. 
Araneidte, 157. 
Artesiuu bores, 30, derivation of water 

supply in Central area, 167. 
Arundo phragmiUs, 74. 
Arunta tribe, 36, 39, 
Asaphus spp., 171. 
Aspidiles nKlano<ephitlus, 109. 
Astacopsis bicarinalus, diatribution and 

habits of, 60, 125. 
Alrip/ex rhagodioides, mealy secretion on 

leaf of, 13. 
Australia, connection of with South 

America, 179, 
Autochthonian region. Botanical, 159, 

172, not coterminous with a cor- 

responding zoological region, 176, 

Aves, 146, 189, distribution ot Central 

Australian, 146. 
Ayere Rock, 85-90. 

Bagot Creek, increase of water at, during 
dry season, 96. 

Barriers to migration in the Austi-aliaii 
Region, 174, 181, 182. 

Bassia, 14. 

Bassian sub-region, characteristics of, 1 97. 

Bembex raptor, 208. 

Betlongia Usueuri, 28, 84. 

Birds, Chestnut^^arcd finches, 13, dot- 
terels, 16, Black cockatoo, 31. 128, 
Mysterious appearance and dis- 
appearance of, 18, rock pigeons, 99, 
Xerophiia nigridncla, 120, superb 
warblers, 120, cat bird, 120, wedge, 
tailed eagles, 123, mo-pokes, 124. 



Bilhima auslralis, teniMiity of life of, 16, 

Blackburn, Rev. T.. on the Coleoptera 

of Central Austritlia, 156. 
Bl licks, sec Natives. 
Biwxl drawing, 37, 58. 
Bony Bream, 54. 
Boomerangs, 39. 
Bore, at Ooduiwlattiv, Succession of strafai 

passed througli, 166. 
Botanical sub-divisions of the Australian 

continent, 172. 
Botany, Sunimnry of, 159. 
Botkroponera dentUulata^ 206. 
Brachysetna, C6. 

Brehni, on seasons of Steppe lands, 9. 
Brinkloy BIuH; 124, 128. 
Bull-roarer, 35. 

Burrowing Frogs, two kinds of, 43. 
Burt Plains, 103, 128. 
Buttertiies, 41. 

Cffiuolestes, 188. 

Callabonna, Lake, 55, 57. 

CallHris verruMsa, 57. 

Calyptorhynckm Uellulahis, 31. 

Camel buggy, 5. 

Camels, habtts of, 3, 4, feeding on thorny 

plants, 15. 
Camel, riding, 7. 
Camponotus inflatm, 88, cowlei, 88, midas, 

88, dcnIiculxUus, 126, 203, arcuatus, 

203, /u>rHi, 204, impavidus, 203, 

nava-holla«di(e, 203, reticulatus, 203, 

schenki, 203. 
Campsameris radu/a, 208. 
Capparis spinasa, 119, mikhelti, 119. 
Carabid^ prevalence of certain species, 

Carmichoel Crag, 75. 
Caryodes, 196. 
Cuse-moths, caterpillars of, and remarks 

on various kinds of, 44. 
Cassias, 13, growth of, 46, flowering, 117, 

119, 124, 126. 
Castle Hill, 49. 

Ciisiiarina Deeaisntana, 15, 49. 
CaauariuB, 190. 
Caterpillars, social, 44. 
Central Ereniian HcgioQ, 161. 

Ceramodactylus damteus, 148, 210. 


Ce rt:m on ies, 'sacred, of the natives, 36. 

Cenuatia, 118. 

Chambers Pillar, 48, myth relating Ut 

origin of, 50. 
Chandler Range, 57, 
Charlotte Waters, 23. 
Chatoessus, 193, horni, 54, 65, 105, 115. 
Cheirokples plalycepkalus, 18, 21, 26. 
Chelifer, 119. 
Cheloditia, 189. 
Chelonia, Australian, 189. 
Chelymys, see Emydura. 
Chenopodium, 17. 
Chignons, worn by men, 9'i. 
Chlamydodera, 190. 
Cbloritis, 195, squamulosa, IIC. 
CliKropus caslanolis, habits of, 109. 
Churina, sacred sticks and stones, 35. 
Class divisions of Natives, 36. 
Clay-pans, description of, 17, Fauna of 

Claytonia, 15, 38. 
Climate, of Steppes, 9, adaptation of 

plants to, 15, 00 influencing animal 

life, G6. 
Cocoidte and ants, 70. 
Cogliii Creek, 23. 
Coleoptera, 117, 156. 
Colouration, remarks on with regard to 

protection, 25, main conclusions with 

rq;ard to, 27, Alexandra Parrakeet, 

Competition amongst plants, 14. 
Conglomerate, Post-0 rdovici an, 166. 
Conilurus, \^9, pedunculatus, 130, 144. 
Coidin L^oon, 132. 
Copidoglanis, 193. 
Conway, Mount, 124. 
Corbicula sub/avigata, 170. 
Corrobborees, general remarks on, 35, pi's- 

parationfor, 37,atTempe Downs, 72. 
Cosmopolitan flora, Mr. Deane's remarks 

on, IGO, discussion of, 175. 
Crabs, freshwater, 16, 21. 
Cniyiish, 60. 
Cretaceous period. Successive changes in 

Centre of Continent during the, 174. 
Criuumfl(Uddum, 14, 18. 



a IT) 

Orococtilia, 189. 

Crown Point, 33. 

Crustacea, of clay- pans, preference for 
muddy water, 20, Periodicity in oc- 
currence «f and dominance of certain 
formii, 1 33, 1 36, Distribution and 
alBuities of Centntt AuHtralian forniB, 
154-15C, distribution of, in Australia, 

Crypiobius mastersi, 117. 

Cryptodrilus, 193. 

Ctenolates, 193. 

Cunningliam Gap, 33. 

Ctirculios, reeeinblnnce to Imrk, 26, pre- 
(lominnnco of amongst beetles, 125. 

Cycads,;?, 113. 

Cystignathidte, 192. 

Cystopelta, 196. 

Dnihousie, 16. 

Danais petilia, 41. 

Daniel, Mount, strotu forming, 167. 

Durling lily, 11. 

Dasyuroid marsupials in Patagoniun Ter- 
tiaries, 185. 

Dasyurus geoffroyi, 210. 

Davenport Creek, 102. 

Deitne, H., on n Cosmopuliti^n flora, 160. 

Decoration of person for corrobboree, 35, 

Desert country, 9. 78. 

Detiort gum tree, 81. 

Desert Oak, switch-like structure of leaf- 
stalks, 15, 49. 

Desert Sandstones, 16, 167, fossib of, 

Development, necessity of rapitl, amongst 
animals, U3. 

DidelphyidsB, 186, absence of in Australia, 

Didymosurus gUichenioides, 168. 

Digaster, 194. 

Dingos, in Kamaran's Well, 82. 

Diplodactylus bymet, 211, lessela/us, 210, 
conspkillatuSy 211. 

Diporocbffita, 193. 

Diprotodon, 55, extinction of, 183. 

Diprotodontia, development in Eastern 
Australia, 183, division of existing 
ones into four groups, 184. 

Distribution, sporadic, of plants, 99, 113, 

160, of molluscs, 113, 116. 
Dromaius, 190. 
Dromicia, distribution of and occurrence 

in Victoria, 184. 
Dryness of tbe country, 22, 66. 
Duboiiia Hopwoodi, tlie Fituri plant, 81. 

Earthworms, 63, 109. 

Ebenavia hornl, 148. 

Echidna, 146. 

Egernia •aihitii, variation in colouration 
of, 26. 

Eleotrh larapintte, IDS, 115. 

Ellory Creek, 121. 

Emu, tracked by natives, 76. 

Emydura (Chelymys), 189. 

Encepkaiarlos Macdvnnelli, 77, 114. 

Efidodonta planorbulina, 116. 

Engseus, 195. 

Ereniian Region, 159, 172. 

Eremian Flora, constituent eletuents of, 

Eremophilas, 13, 46, 126. 

Estheria diciyon, 116, packardi, persist- 
ence of, 20, 133. 

Estherias, 20. 

Etbingshausen, Baron von, suggested cos- 
mopolitan flora, 160, 175. 

Eucalyptus rostrata, 13, 33, 58, oltosa, 
121, gamophylla, 59, mieroikeca, 13, 
33, 44, 161, eudtsmoidis, 81, lermi- 
nalis, 125. 

Eumna latretlli, 209. 

Euronotian region, 159, 172. 

Extinct marsupials, 55. 

Eyre, Lake, in dry and wet season, 12. 

Eyreau sub-region, characteristics of, 198. 

Fat tails of Marsupi'ils, 130. 

Fauna of Australia, oleuients constituting 
the, 180, of Ceuti-al Australia, 140 
ei snjij., 177, permanent and fluctuat- 
ing, 141, a&inily with that of South 
America, 179. 

Faunal Divisions of Australian Region, 

Faunal Regions of Australia, ns suggested 
by Mr. Hedley, 172. 

Ferns, at Reedy Creek. 74. 


216 uo 

Ficus orbicularis, 119. 

Ficus p/atypoday fl7, 119. 

Finkf River, 32, uitiiietl by Sluart, Z'i, 

clriii:iago >ircu of, 32, G.>i-j,'e, 108. 
Fiali, 50, 53, 54, CO, 67, 69, 105, 115, 

150, 193. 
Fletolicrodrilua, 193. 
Flies, a peat, 24. 
Floods, 34, 50. 

Flora, coiistilueuteli-ntcnts of Centr:Ll,161. 
Formicidre, 203. 
Frogii, of ciiLy-piins, 18, rnpid ilcvelopmciit 

of, 19, burrowing vmA wivtcr-holding, 

21, at Ayers RoLk, 89. 
Furina ramsayi, 1-19. 

Galaxias, 181, 187, 193. 

Gap, Emily, Teniplt;b;ir, Simpson, etc., 132. 

(jiastrii)obiuni, a poison plant, 93, 161. 

General Conclusions, 171. 

Geology, summary nf, 1G2-17I. 

Geoneuiertes, 194. 

Geoplana, 194. 

George Gill Range, 73. 

Geotria, 181, 93. 

Gibber plains at sunset, 17. 

Gibbers, 11, origin of, 12. 

Giddea, 23. 

Gillen, Mount, 131. 

Glen Helen Station, 100. 

GlosBopteiis, G8. 

Gobius eremius, 52. 

Goedenia homiana, sjionMjic distributiou, 

of, 99. 
Gorges, formation of, 104, 107, 165, in 

neighbourhood of Alice Springs, 131. 
GoBse Range, 99, 123. 
Goyder River, Camp at 29. 
Grasshoppers, 24, 
Grass trees, 98. 
Grcvillea agri/oHa, 119, 125. 
Growth of plants, must l>e rapid if they 

are to survive, 14. 
Gryllotalpa coarctata, 69. 
Gum creeks, 74. 
Gum trees, red, 33, swamp, 33, infested by 

social caterpillars, 44, niallee, 46, 59. 
Hadni, 195. 
Hall and Pritcbiu'd, on the age of plant 

bearing beds in Victoria, 169. 


Hapaloiis miiehelli, 75. 

Haplnchiton, 193. 

ile-ivi tree Gap, 131. 

Hedley, C, on Central Australian Mol- 

luscu, 153, on Faunal Regions of 

Australia, 172. 
HeUioporui pictus, 18, 89. 
Helicarion, 196. 
Helichrysum, 47, 49. 
Helicina, 196. 
Heiniptera, 140, 
Henbury, 55. 
Hermann, Mount, 112. 
Herraannsburg, 111. 
Heteronota, 181. 

Hibberlia glaberrima, 75, 119, 161. 
Hirudineji 140. 

Higher Steppes, 9, 62-79, 102-136. 
Hohprymnus micans, 204. 
Honey ants, nest and habit of, 87-89. 
Hoplocepha/us stir/ingi, 149. 
Horn Valley, 100, 103, 106, 123. 
Horsealioe-bend, 43. 
ffornea pulche/h, 149. 
Hugh River, 123. 
Hydi-omys, 188. 
Hydropkilus albipes, water beetle, tenacity 

of life. 22. 
Hyla gi/leni, 150. 
Hyla aurea, rate of development of eggs 

ot 19. 
Byla rubtlla, 19, colouration of, 26, 125, 
Hypodima flavipes, 69, 158, 206. 
Hynteiioptera, 158, 203. 

Idracowra, 48. 
Illaniurta, 61. 
Illara waterhole, 67. 
Ilpilla Creek, 61. 
Irri-akuro, 38. 
Irulo, sacred sticks, 33. 
Isidorella newcombi, ground mud oper- 
culum of, 22, 65. 
Isopoda, 140. 

James Rapige, 61, 92. 
Janella, 195. 
Jerboa-rats, 75. 
Johnston Range, 54. 

Digitized by Vj OOQ IC 



Kamaran'B Well, 82. 
Kangaroos, 93. 
King Creek, 81. 
Krichnuff Range, 112. 
Kurtitina, tk luitive well, 85, 95. 

Laciaularia, 140. 

Iiacertilia, Centrat AuGtralinn, 14t), ditttri- 
bution in Australia, 190, sec also 
Lizards, division of endemic genera 
into three groups, 191. 

Lagor(hesles conspinllalus, 109. 

Ijind, pusseesiou of hy Natives, 40. 

Larapinta, native name for Finke, 32. 

Larapinta Land, 2. 

Larapintine flora, 159. 

I^rapintinB region, 159. 

Lates, 193. 

LalTodtde% scelio, 157. 

Leipoti ocellata, 83, 1K9. 

Liipidurus, 154, 195. 

Lepidoptera, 156. 

Leschenhaultia divuricata, resinous mate- 
rial from root of, 29. 

Levi Range, 73. 165. 

Lialis burtoni, 117. 

Lilla Creek, 42. 

Limnadopsis squirei, 133 taUt, 133. 

Limnodynastes omalus, a burrowing frog, 
42, 117. 

LiparuE, 195, s/>tnceri, 113. 

Livislona Mariee, 113, 161. 

Lizards, dilt'erence in colour of mule and 
female, general remarks on coloura- 
tion, 25, varying susc«-ptibility witli 
regard to heat, 28, at Palm Creek, 
117, division of Central Australian 
forms into groups, 146, variations in, 

Loamy plains, 12. 

Lnphophapi Uucogaiter, 99. 

Loranthus, 47. 

Lower Steppes, 9, 11-61. 

Lowland vegetation, 160. 

Lucas, A. H. S., on the vertebrate fauna 
of Victoria, 193 (footnote). 

Lunibricidie, introduced into Australia, 

Luritcba Tribe, 72. 

Lydekker, R., on cntnuice of marsupial 
fauna into Australia, 185, Rodente, 
186, origin of Daayurid« and Didel- 
phyidie in South-East Asia, 186. 

Mneropus ru/us, distribution of, 93. 

Maiden, J. H., on resins, 71, 

Macumba River, 16. 

Marsika quadrifolia, 18. 

Mammalia of Central Australia, 140, 143. 

Mammals, difficulty of obtaining, 109. 

Malurus mtlanolus, 120, leucapUrus, 120, 
lamberti, 120. 

Mammalia, prol>able absence of, in the 
west when the latt«r dismembered 
from the east, 176, 177. 

Marsupials, extinct, 55-57, severely handi- 
capped when in competition with 
rodente by having to carry young in 
the pouch, 127, division of Central 
Australian forms into three groups, 
144, absence from west whilst tlie 
latter dismembered from the eastern 
part of the continent, 1 78, derivation 
of Australian forms, 185-189, path 
of distribution of in Australia, 182. 

Maatacomys, 144, 189. 

McDonnell Ranges, 102-136. 

Megaderma gigas, 143. 

Megapodiidie, 181, distribution of in Aus- 
tralia, 189. 

Megoscolides, 194. 

Melania balonnemU, 69, venustuia, 170, 
lutosa, 170. 

Members of the Expedition, 2. 

Mouura, distribution of, 190. 

Mereenie Bluff, 100. 

Meridian ante, 129. 

Metura eiaitgata, cose of caterpillar, 45. 

Microperca, 193. 

MUrophyura kemUtaiisa, 64, 187. 

Missionary Plains, 98. 

MoUusco, survival of Bithmia australis, 
16, 63, remarks on persistence in 
Central Australia, 65, at Reedy 
Creek, 75, Palmer River, 97, Fhike 
Gorge, 109, Palm Creek, 113, 115, 
distribution and affinities of Central 
Australian forma, 150-154, distribu- 
tion of in Australia, 195. 




Moloch horridus, 41, ItiO. 

MoiiotreniAta, 146. 

Mosijuitos, 24. 

Mound bii'ds, 83. 

Mound xpriiigs, 16, %i. 

Mourning, women in, 39. 

Mulga, 13, 81, vumtions in foliage of, 

121, 122. 
Munyeru, 15, grinding of, 38. 
Murray lily, 14. 

Murniy River system, fish of, 193. 
Murray iiS 193. 
Mus, 189, gouidi, 75, Aermnnnshurgensis, 

120, musoilus, 144. 
Musical instrumente of Ntitivea, 72. 
Mussel, fresli- water, 21. 
Mutilhi rugieollis, 207. 
Myrmecobiua, distribution of, 178. 
Mynnoleoii, 38. 

Myriapoda, at Palm Creek, 118, MO. 
MyrmeCM nigrUeps, 206. 

Naias major, 60, 119. 

Nardoo, 18. 

N&rcotics, 66, 82. 

Native cooking, 94. 

Natives, canip of, ut Ciown Point and 
general remarks with regard to, 34, 
liviglit of 39. Camp at Henbury, 
58, drawings at Reedy Creek, 78, 
ab Ayers Rock, 90, at Mount Olga, 

Necklace containing dead man's hair, 59. 

Nematocentris tniei, 69, 105, winnetriti, 
105, 115. 

Nemartinoa, 194. 

A'e/'Ai/<! eremiam, 59. 

New Guinea, ])ovcrty of Poiyprotodonts, 

New Zealand, relation of to southern 
land, 187. 

Nkotiimum suaveolens, 66. 

Ninox boobook, 124. 

Notoryctes, remarks on, 52-54, 145. 

Obsidian l)omb«, suggested origin of, 170. 
Odynerus sanguinolarlus, 209. 
(Edura marimrala, 21], tryoni, 311. 
Old man porcupine, 97. 

Olga, Mount, 90. 

OHgochieta, 158, distribution of genera 
iu Australia, 193. 

Oligorus, 193. 

Ouilnadntta, 5. 

Ophidia, 149. 

Ophidiocephalus tattiatus, 147, 2il. 

Orange, native, 119. 

Ordoviciau strata, 163, area of 164, 
fossils, 164, constitution of, 164, 
folding, 165, correlation of, 171. 

Ortkis dicholonialis, 166. 

Or/his /evieusis, 171. 

Osteoglossam, 193. 

Paisley Bluff, 124. 

Palmarea watlii, 166. 

PaliBOntological results. Summary of, 

PaUimnarehus polltns, 170, 189. 
Palm Creek, 113-120, fauna of, 115-119. 
Palmer River, 67, 97. 
PalorfhtsUs atael, 55, 
Panda, 195. 
Papuan Region, Polyp rodont fauna of, 

185, as suggested by Mr. C. Hedley, 

173, 197. 
Paradiseidte, 181, 190. 
Peragale, species, native names and habits 

of, 110, distribution of, 145. 
Peraga/e lagotis, 34, 109, minor. 145, 210. 
Perameles eremtana, 210, obesula, 210. 
Pericliaita, 181, 193. 
Petemiann Pound, 96. 
Potermann Creek, 73, 165. 
PetrogaU lattralh, 77, 126. 
Photographing, difficulties of, 80. 
Phratries, division of Tribe into, 36. 
Phascologale, 84, maedonnelUmis, \Z%cris- 

tieauda, 130. 
Pheidok longiaps, 207. 
Philonthus suhcingulalus, 117- 
Phio^ius crasiipei, 134, stridulating organ 

of, 135. 
PhyllodactyluB, 148. 
Phyllopoda, 154. 
Physignathus, 181. 

Physignathui longiroilrh, habits of, 30. 
Pine Point, 99. 



Pisc«s of Gentnil AustniHii, 150, of 
Murray Kivcr, IdO, distribution of 
ill Austrnliii, 1U2, ait showing Soutli 
American ufliiiity, 193, swuiso Fish. 

Pitchia of Natives, 39. 

Pituri plant, usea of, 81. 

Pliiiuirian, wnter, 74. 

Pliiniapim, 195. 

Plants not crowilod together, 14, reliitioii 
toaniiunls, and climatic environiii<^nt, 
15, domioaiice of curtain genera, 126. 

Phlosus argtnttttS, 66. 

Plumbago zeilanica, 131. 

Polyp I'utodoiits, path by which the primi- 
tive forma entered Australia, 179, 
Lydekker's views, 185. 

Polyneaia, connection of with Auatrulin, 
179, 187. 

Polytelia, see Spathoptcms. 

Polyzoa, 21, 140. 

Pamatoslomus rubenilus, 120. 

Pompilius inorio, 208, semiiu^taosus, 208. 

Porcupine grass, 59,de8cription and figures 
uf, 84, 97, 100, 126. 

Porcupine graaa ant, habits of, 69-71. 

Portulaccit, \f>. 

Posb-Ordovician Conglomerate, 166. 

Potamogeion Ttpptri, 119. 

Pre-Cnmbrian formation, 102, 162, folia- 
tion planes of, 163, evidence as to 
age of, 163. 

Prickly plants, 14. 

Property, ideas of amongst tho natives, 40. 

Protective colourntion, remarks on with 
regard to lizards, etc., 25. 

Prothylacinus, 188. 

Prototroctes, 193. 

Psrudonaja affinis, 75. 

Plilotis kearllandi, 63. 

Ptilotus, 14, 47. 

Pupa, 195,/rt,/n«[, 116. 

Pygopodidie, 180. 

Pyrameis cardui, 41. 

Rain season, change in fauna, 142. 
Bano, 192. 

Kabhit-Bandicoot, 34, 109. 
Redbank Creek, 103. 
Redlwnk Gorge, 104. 
Red gum, 1, 30, 33. 

Hud Mulgft, 13, deciduous bark of, 16. 
llijcdy Creek, description of camp on, 7 
Resin, derived from Porcupine grass ai: 

used by ants in making neata, 71, U! 

by natives, 39, 71. 
Rhagada, 195. 
Rfux^gaster illuslrb, 207. 
Rhodona bipeSy 117. 
Rhynchodemus, 194. 
Rhytididnt, 195. 


1, 34. 

Rock pigeons, yy. 

Rock wallabies, 126. 

River gum, 13. 

Rodentirt, Auatralian, 189. 

Rodents, habits of mice and Jeiboa-rats, 
75, Mus spp., 120, of Centi^l Auatra- 
lia, 144, migrations of, 144. 

Rolling Downs formation of Queensland, 

Roily-Polly, 13. 

Rotifers, 21, 140. 

Rudall Creek, 99. 

Running Waters, 60. 

Salsolaceous vegetation, 47. 

Salt-bush, 13. 

Sdlsola kali, 13, 47. 

Sandhills, 48, 49. 

Sarcophilus, 183. 

Saxatilc Plants, 119. 

Saxatile vegetation, 160. 

Scolia /wviceps, 208. 

Scorpions, 41, 118. 

Scrub, description of, 13, 46. 

Seasons, of Steppe Lands, 9. 

Secular changes in Australian continent, 
as influencing distribution, 174. 

Shield of natives, 39. 

Silicification of Upper and Supra-Creta- 
ceoua rocks, 169. 

Skink lizards, susceptibility to heat, 28. 
1 Sminthopsis piammophilus, 84, crasiicau- 
\ data, 121. 

i Snakes, 42. 

Sondf^r, Mount, 102. 

South America, affinity between fauna uf 
and that of Australia, 187, et stqq. 

SpathopUrus alexaHdrie, 100, 146. 

Speara, 38. 



^iex eanesans, 209, luctuosa, 209. 
Spiders, large orb-web of Nepht/e i 

59, at Palm Creek, 119. 
Spinifex grass, 14, 34. 
Stenogym, 195. 
Steppes, Australian. 8, 9, divisio 

Lower and Higher, 9. 


1 Kiver, 15. 

Stinking acacia, 13 

Stridulating organ in spiders, 135. 

Struggle for existence, certain conditions 
of in Central Australia amongst 
animals and plants, 142. 

Siypheiia mikhelU, 106, 161. 

Succinea, 195. 

Succulent plants, prevalence of in dry 
region, 15. 

Summary of Results, 139. 

Supra-CretaceouB formation, 167. 

Sutherland, A., experiments on rate of 
development of eggs of Hyfa aurea 
at different temperatures, 19. 

Swainsonia e/ttuscens, sporadic distribu- 
tion of, 99, 161. 

Swamp gums, 13, 33. 

Tackys spenceri, 97, 117. 

Tieniopygia caslanotis, 13. 

Talegalla, 189, 

Ttlpkusa transversa, 21. 155, 195. 

Tempo Downs, 68. 

Temperature at nights, 97. 

Tertiary formation, 170. 

Therapon, 193, permides, 67, 105, 115, 
Iruttaceus, 105, Wh^fasciatus, 105. 

Tliersites, 195, adcockiana, 63. 

Thorns, no protection against camels, 15, 
adaptation to climatic environment, 

Thyliicinus, 183, extinction of on main- 
land, 188, footnote. 

Thynnus carbonarius, 207, obsairus, 207, 
ochroaphalus, 207. 

Tietken's cauiping giound at Mount Olgo, 

Tiliquaoccipiiaiis, killed by beat of sand, 2 8. 

Tobacco plant, 67. 

Torresian sub-region, characteristics of, 

Totems, traces of in Arunta tribe, 58. 
Ti-acking, of natives, 76. 
Tribulus, one of tbe prickly plants, 14. 
Trichoglossidie, 180. 
Triodia, ib,puttgens, 71, 85. 
Trinephrus, 194. 

Trora, native musical instrument, 73. 
Tubaija, 110. 
Turbellaria, 194. 
Typhiops polygrammUus, 210. 

Unio stuarii, 21. 

Unterpattt, of a native well, 82. 

Upper Cretaceous formation, 166. 

Varanus gUieni, colour of, 25. 

Variations in structure of body depen- 
dent upOD seasons as shown by size 
and number of teats in certain species 
of Marsupials, 143. 

Vermes, 193. 

Vtrmkella annuiata, burrowing in sand, 

Walker River, 68. 

Wallace, on the Australian region, 172. 

Water, from root of Mallee gum, etc., 

Water-bole^ 13. 15. 51, 91, 109. 
Water holding fr()g, 21, 
Water-plante, 60, 65, 74. 119. 
Waterhouae Range, 123. 
Weapons-of natives, 38. 
Winnall's Ridge, 81. 

Xanthotnelon, 153, 180. 

XanlHorrheea Thorntoniy 98, 161. 

Xeromys, 189. 

Xerophila mgricincta, 1 20. 

Yarrumpo, native name for boney ant, 88. 

Zeil, Mount, 100. 

Zoology, summary of, 139-158.